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Samsung says its foldable phone is a ‘breakthrough in technology innovation’

Updated Jan 15th, 2019 8:08AM EST

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Samsung next month is expected to unveil two new smartphone flagships, including the Galaxy S10 that dominates mobile rumors right now, and the Galaxy F, its first foldable handset. The latter already got a soft launch back in November, but Samsung only really showed the phone’s Infinity Flex screen, as well as the new One UI user interface that will power all Samsung mobile experiences, Galaxy F included. And, according to a new report, Samsung is looking to make the most of the foldable phone experience it’s about to introduce, a form factor not many other handset vendors will have in stores this year.

Samsung is currently testing new experiences on foldable phones The Korea Herald said in a post, revealing that development for the upcoming phone may be done primarily in the States, at the Samsung Design Innovation Center (SDIC).

The SDIC is responsible for the design of Samsung’s new products and services, the report notes, having operated in California for decades. From the looks of it, the foldable experience is of utmost importance for Samsung. The phone will be prohibitively expensive, and only up to one million phones will be made in the first year. But it’s a new product category that Samsung wants to succeed.

“The foldable phone is a breakthrough in technology innovation,” SDIC head Federico Casalegno said during a press event on Thursday. “For now you design only one interface, but when you start to open up the possibilities, there are new breakthrough innovations that we can imagine in terms of how the human and computer interact.”

The phone will have three screens when unfolded, including the primary panel that’s placed on the inside of the phone, as well as a smaller display on the outer shell.

“Our group here is working to reinvent and reimagine how we can create new experiences based on this new platform,” the exec added. “And of course we are very well situated here because the Android system has not been designed for that (foldable). We need to explore new ways to do so.”

But SDIC is not alone developing Android features for foldable devices. We already know that Google helped Samsung adapt Android for foldable screens, and we may see future versions of Google’s mobile operating system get additional optimizations for foldable handsets.

Casalegno said that Samsung’s in-folding display phone might provide better experiences for users in terms of design compared to the kind of wrap-around display phone Apple may be designing.

Apple is just one of the companies that are reportedly working on foldable handsets of its own. While Apple isn’t expected to unveil a foldable iPhone this year, various other phone vendors will do so, including China’s most significant player, Huawei. Other big names in the industry, including Microsoft, LG, Xiaomi, and Oppo are also developing foldable devices.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.