Samsung on Wednesday gave the first glimpse of its upcoming foldable phone, saying it’ll be mass produced “in the coming months.”
Justin Denison, Samsung senior vice president of mobile marketing, showed off the phone, which is a tablet when it’s fully opened and then a phone when it’s closed. It uses a new display technology called Infinity Flex Display that lets you open and close the device over and over without any degradation.
“The Infinity Flex Display represents an entirely new mobile platform,” Denison said. “We’ve been living in a world where the size of your screen can only be as large as the device itself. We’ve added a new dimension to help you browse, watch and multitask like never before.”
The foldable phone can run up to three apps at the same time, something Samsung calls Multi Active Window. A Google executive who took the stage after Denison said Android will support the new foldable display technology.
Samsung made the announcements at its fifth annual developers conference, taking place Wednesday and Thursday in San Francisco. The event, which started off small at a San Francisco hotel, in 2016 expanded to Moscone Center West, where Apple previously held its developer conference., 5,000 people attended SDC.
SDC reflects Samsung’s big push to get developers to make software specifically for its devices. In the past, that’s meant making apps that work on the edge of Samsung’s curved smartphone displays or take advantage of its S Pen stylus. This year, that focus has turned to Bixby and artificial intelligence.
Samsung has been chasing the holy grail of a foldable phone since it teased one at CES 2013 by showing off a flexible OLED display. The device comes at a tough time for the mobile market. Apple and Samsung handset sales are slowing down, and the global smartphone market is said to be “in recession.” Foldable phones could mark the next big innovation in mobile devices —.
D.J. Koh, CEO of Samsung’s mobile business,that you’ll be able to use the device as a tablet with multitasking capability before being able to fold it up into a more portable phone. He once again stressed the foldable phone wouldn’t be a “gimmick product” that would “disappear after six to nine months after it’s delivered.”
“When we deliver a foldable phone, it has to be really meaningful to our customer,” Koh said last month.
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