Analysts with HSBC are placing their bets on 2016 being the year we see a true folding smartphone launch from Samsung. The phone would take advantage of Samsung’s flexible OLED technologies in ways we have not seen on a consumer-grade device to date.
Samsung is rumored to be developing the device under the codename Project Valley, and if rumors pan out the new form factor would be a first of its kind. A folding display would allow for a standard-sized smartphone that could flip open to reveal a larger screen for the productivity and media benefits normally associated with tablets.
The closest we have gotten to a consumer device featuring a flexible display has been the curved screens of devices like the Samsung Galaxy Round and LG G Flex. Both devices were decent proof-of-concept hardware that made the argument that flexible displays were ready for mass production, but no manufacturer has gambled on a device that featured the folding ability of such displays as the main selling point. Such a device would uniquely position Samsung against its competition, offering a competitive edge that could help to spar some interest in a quickly stagnating smartphone market.
The feature certainly won’t be part of the highly-anticipated Samsung Galaxy S7 when it debuts in the coming months, but perhaps that phone won’t be Samsung’s biggest launch of the year after all.