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Launch timing for Samsung’s exciting new tri-fold Galaxy device might’ve just leaked

Published Apr 19th, 2021 12:57PM EDT
Samsung Foldable Tablet
Image: Samsung

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Samsung plans to increase foldable phone sales significantly this year and in the years to come. We’ve already seen a few initiatives that might help Samsung move more inventory. The South Korean company launched extensive “free trial” promos in the US and UK, allowing buyers to try out a foldable handset for 60 days or even 100 days instead of the usual two-week trial that comes with other Samsung Galaxy purchases. Samsung also cut the prices of its foldable phones since it’s about to unveil new models.

On top of that, Samsung reportedly plans to launch new foldable phones this year to replace the Note 21. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 2 are rumored to launch this summer, with the former having already appeared in various rumors. Separately, Samsung is working on a few novel foldable designs, but a report said a few days ago that Samsung doesn’t have any foldable surprises planned for 2021. While new releases might not surprise us, the company might still tease a brand new type of foldable device that’s unlike anything Samsung made so far. It’s a “tri-fold” tablet that Samsung might launch in the first quarter next year.

We already saw Samsung patents showing large foldable devices made of two or even three display parts. The latter is the more exciting design and the kind of gadget that would qualify as a “tri-fold” tablet. It’s a foldable handset featuring three display sides and two hinges. When unfolded, the device would offer users a larger display than the Galaxy Fold. But when completely folded, the device would look like a thicker smartphone.

A new report from GizmoChina and a leaker both claim the tri-fold tablet could launch as the Galaxy Z Fold Tab in the first quarter of 2022.

The rumor says we may or may not see a teaser for this Fold Tab device during the Fold 3 and Flip 2 launch event. The Unpacked press conference is expected to occur in early August, though Samsung marketing is reportedly still debating whether or not to show off the tri-fold tablet.

Samsung’s foldables have begun facing more competition from China, where Huawei and Xiaomi launched new Galaxy Fold-like foldables this year. Of those, Xiaomi offers a more affordable choice than any other company. Other Chinese smartphone vendors might soon launch additional foldable devices, and some of them have already teased foldable concepts. A few days ago, TCL showed the world a phone with a screen that folds and rolls. That device would let the user switch between phone, phablet, and tablet modes.

With that in mind, it wouldn’t come as much of a surprise to see Samsung show off a new foldable design of its own. The company did tease the original Fold during a conference in late 2018, several months before the phone’s official announcement in early 2019.

The leak doesn’t offer many details about this tri-fold tablet, but the fact that it refers to this device as a tablet seems to imply that the Fold Tab might not even have a phone mode when folded. The report does mention that the device will feature the same reinforced Ultra Thin Glass (UTG) as the Fold 3. The tablet is also said to support the same hybrid S Pen stylus that Samsung will reportedly introduce with the Fold 3.

It’s unclear how much the foldable tablet might cost or what type of user it will target. Foldable smartphones are routinely priced between $1,500 and $2,000, although Chinese vendors are already looking to lower the entry price significantly. A foldable tablet featuring three folding sides sounds like the kind of gadget that’ll be priced above most shoppers’ budgets.

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.