The Galaxy S9 isn’t the hot phone Samsung may have expected it to be, and the company confirmed as much a few days ago in its earnings report for the June quarter. The company also said it’s taking various steps to improve its competitiveness in the mobile business, including an early Galaxy Note 9 launch, cutting-edge technology, new form factors, and gaining leadership in 5G tech.
In other words, Samsung practically confirmed that it’ll launch a foldable handset in the very near future. That’s the only new smartphone form factor Samsung is rumored to be working on right now. But Samsung won’t be the only company to launch foldable phones next year.
A few days ago, we learned that Huawei is looking to beat Samsung to market with a foldable phone of its own, just so that it can claim the “world’s first” title. But ET News (via The Investor) has learned that Chinese smartphone makers including Xiaomi and Oppo are already negotiating with Korean component makers on deals that would help them come out with their own foldable smartphones next year.
Xiaomi and Oppo are making out-folding smartphones the report notes, while Samsung and Huawei are working on in-folding smartphones. The Chinese companies plan to source the displays for these smartphones from Chinese screen makers as well as LG Display. Not much is known about any of these phones except for Samsung’s Galaxy F, which has been featured in rumors and reports for more than two years.
Both companies are looking to “shed their long-held image as makers of cheaper budget phones.” But they’re also looking to launch their devices as fast as possible. Like Huawei, they might be focusing on that “world’s first” title, especially Xiaomi. And Xiaomi is apparently willing to make compromises on product quality to achieve that goal.
Samsung, meanwhile, is said to be prepping a better foldable handset than competitors. But the Korean giant is also worried about being first. “Samsung is taking exceptionally great care about the phone launch that has already been delayed several times. The firm also doesn’t want to hand over the ‘world’s first title’ to its Chinese rivals,” a source told ET News.
One issue for Samsung might be the price of the handset. Previous reports said the phone will cost around $2,000, and ET News makes the same claim. Samsung’s phone will cost around $1,800, the report notes, which is double the estimated price of a Chinese foldable phone.