Samsung crashed down the gates of the mobile phone market in 2009, riding on an Android bull, making the established giants fear for their thrones. Its entrance was felt as much in India as the rest of the world. This Korean company, struggling to attract the Indians with its tiny, cheap yet feature loaded handsets, now found it having a monopoly on the imagination of an average mobile buyer.
Things have changed since then. Now, just 6 years later, Samsung seems once again, out of innovations. Or is it?
The Foldable Display
Ever since 2011, Samsung has been toying with the idea of a foldable display. It is an idea not as futuristic as Augmented Reality and not quite as revolutionary as USB-C; but still, it is Samsung’s baby. If integrated with the Galaxy S7, it can act as ambrosia for the waning hold of Samsung in the smartphone market. Two years ago, in the Consumers Electronics Show 2013, Samsung presented to the world its first fully functional prototypes of the folding display range.
Since then, it has promised a variety of unbreakable, curved, foldable and rollable phones; compensating with the release of Galaxy Note Edge, Galaxy Round and Galaxy S6 Edge, all of the “curved” variety; but with the imminent release of the Galaxy S7, rumours are that Samsung will finally come to terms with its tryst.
It is not simply a Galaxy S7 Vs. iPhone 7 war being the concern for Samsung; although Samsung has a very valid reason to hold a vendetta (for the lack of a better term) against Apple. Samsung lost a major portion of its share of the phone market to Apple’s iPhone 6.
Samsung is also facing stiff competition in the technology that it pioneered. LG has recently announced that it will be investing a vast $1.3 billion into improving and developing foldable OLED displays, with the aim of commercializing them by 2017.
Besides, Nokia is ready to take a dive into foldable display technology as well. Samsung has a clear shot at beating the competition early with its 2016 flagship launch.
Advancement So Far
Samsung Display’s Lee Chang-hoon, in an investor’s meet, stated that Samsung is sure that a production capacity of 30,000 to 40,000 flexible displays per month would be achievable by the end of 2015. As is observable, the reality is far from expectations. Foldable display screens have not yet been introduced in any of the handsets. The curvable screens seem more like a jab at Apple than a real advancement. The most definitive piece of information we have is a quote from an anonymous Samsung executive, who says we finally might be able to see the foldable display screens in phones, sometime in late 2016.