Samsung could be introducing a crazy new feature on their next smartphone.
With all of the hoopla surrounding the unveiling of the latest slate of Apple devices, including the new iPhone 8 and X models, somewhat forgotten is their main competitor, Samsung. Their line of Galaxy smartphones and tablets have helped the tech giant establish themselves as big players in the mobile market over the years and, according to a new report from The Financial Times, the latest build for their devices might change the game in a totally unprecedented way.
Earlier this week, Samsung Electronics Co. stated that it wants to launch a foldable smartphone that will debut next year. The device, whici remains unnamed as of this writing, will fall under their Galaxy Note line of products. Koh Dong-jin, president of mobile business at Samsung, revealed that the company is targeting a 2018 release date for the smartphone with a bendable display. However, this is not a certainty, as even he admits there are still some major obstacles to overcome. "As the head of the business, I can say our current goal is next year," he said. "When we can overcome some problems for sure, we will launch the product."
There was no elaboration on what exactly those problems may be, although analysts have voiced concerns that mass-producing a foldable phone with glitzy features inside of a thin body will take no short amount of time. Though they haven't made any prototypes public in a while, Samsung actually first showcased a flexible display all the way back in 2013. Since 2015, the rumor has been that they're close to a finished product, but there's still some tweaking to be done.
Koh also said Samsung is working with Harman, the Stamford, Connecticut-based company that they acquired last year, to develop an AI-enabled speaker that users can speak to in order to accomplish tasks such as playing music. It's part of the company's attempt to branch out and integrate themselves into the world of connected cars. Koh did not say when the speaker, which will likely compete with similar machines that Amazon, Google and Apple have either released or are about to release, will be available for purchase.
Samsung will be raking in some cash in the near future, with more than a half million pre-orders — 650,000 units — for their upcoming Note 8 device in South Korea before its Friday launch. Pricing for that item is set at 1.1 million won ($969) in South Korea and $930 in the U.S.