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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 1:00 am

Foldable phone in Samsung plans

Hoping for release in 2018, but still working out kinks

YOUKYUNG LEE | Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea – Samsung Electronics Co. said Tuesday it aims to launch a foldable smartphone next year under its Galaxy Note brand.

Koh Dong-jin, president of mobile business at Samsung Electronics, said the company is setting its eyes on 2018 to release a smartphone with a bendable display. But he said there are several hurdles it has to overcome, leaving room to push back the release if those problems are not solved.

“As the head of the business, I can say our current goal is next year,” he told reporters. “When we can overcome some problems for sure, we will launch the product.”

He did not elaborate what the problems are. Analysts said mass-producing a foldable phone with top tech features and a thin body will take time.

When Samsung will release its first foldable phone has been a perennial question in the market since Samsung first showcased a flexible display prototype called Youm in 2013. For at least the past two years, there have been rumors that Samsung is close to showing off its first smartphones that can be folded.

The comments were made at Samsung's conference to announce the Galaxy Note 8 to domestic media, hours before Apple announced its 10th-anniversary iPhone models.