As 2019 draws to a close and Samsung winds down its first year of offering foldable smartphones as a viable commercial product, rumors and leaks are already starting to mount about what the South Korea-based tech giant is planning along these same lines for 2020 and beyond. For example, among the things we already definitely know is that Samsung is already set on releasing at least one and most likely two new foldable smartphones next year — likely a direct successor to the Galaxy Fold that’s being informally referred to as the Galaxy Fold 2, as well as a foldable clamshell smartphone.
Meanwhile, as we noted earlier on Tuesday, Samsung may also address one of the biggest obstacles between customers and this year’s Galaxy Fold, besides the unusual form factor: The steep price tag. According to The Korea Herald, the new foldable handset Samsung is prepping will likely cost around $845 in Korea next year. And, beyond that, Samsung may also bring something entirely new to the design next year as well.
A new foldable Samsung phone is anticipated for some time in the first quarter of 2020. Once it launches, it will apparently look different from its predecessor in at least one respect: The hinge.
On the original Fold, there’s a definite, noticeable vertical line you can see where the phone folds in half. Samsung, meanwhile, has trademarked something it’s calling a “Hideaway Hinge,” a new kind of hinge hidden in the housing of the device that will thus be hardly visible at all.
Samsung Electronics trademarked this concept at the beginning of the week in a filing with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (h/t LetsGoDigital), and, importantly, the patent’s description suggests this design can be used in both smartphones and tablets. This isn’t all that surprising, since Samsung is also working on foldable tablets.
Because the hinge is so integral to the experience of a foldable phone like this, it’s also not surprising for it to be given an actual moniker. On the Huawei Mate X, for example, the mechanical hinge is called the “Falcon Wing.” Other than these few details about Samsung’s Hideaway Hinge, it’s not yet known what the design of this will actually entail or which model it’s coming to first.
No doubt next year’s models will have the new design, in our estimation, including the Galaxy Fold 2 that’s expected around August.
In terms of Samsung’s additional foldable phone plans for 2020, Samsung is reportedly planning to expand the Galaxy Fold rollout to some 60 countries by February. Per the Herald, the company has also sold around half a million units so far, and Samsung plans to increase its foldable phone shipments to six million next year thanks to the cheaper model that will also be available.