In the recent past, Samsung has been largely rumoured to be working on a foldable device with a launch date pegged for later this year. Samsung is said to launch the Galaxy F series, for this foldable device, and now new information reveals the device's model number, and the fact that it is being tested on carrier networks already. The device is reportedly also expected to launch globally. Furthermore, the company's earnings report shows a decline in smartphone sales, and the company blames decrease in performance of the mid to low-end devices. The report claims that the company is banking on its foldable phone segment and upcoming 5G phones to revive the smartphone sales numbers.
Sammobile reports that the first Galaxy F foldable phone may bear the model number SM-F900U, and it will be accompanied with firmware version F900USQU0ARJ5. This firmware version is being tested in the US on all major telecom networks already. The report states that the first Galaxy F device will sport 512GB of storage, and will be a high-end device. It will also support dual-SIM slots, and come with a unique Android UI that blends well with its folding capabilities.
Samsung will reportedly also begin testing firmware for Europe with model number SM-F900F and Asia with model number SM-F900N soon. Thus, the Galaxy F series is expected to launch globally, and not be just a US market exclusive. The report adds that there is a slim chance the new Galaxy F smartphone may in fact be a gaming smartphone that Samsung is rumoured to be developing.
A fresh report from The Bell that the foldable device will have one external display and one internal display to allow the phone to work like a smartphone when folded and a tablet when it expands. The main internal display is at 7.29-inches, while the secondary outside display is at 4.58-inches. The report says that mass production of parts should begin this month itself, and initial volume will not be that large at 100,000 a month, but it is expected to increase per year. Samsung is going to test the market before entering into big volume production.
Furthermore, the report adds that the hinge required for seamless opening and shutting of the device is going to be made by Korean company KH Vatec. It finally states that Samsung may tease the device at the Samsung Developer Conference (SDC) in November, which kicks off November 7.
Previous reports indicate that the foldable-screen device is codenamed "Winner" and has been under development for years. It is expected to not sport a fingerprint scanner, due to technical difficulties unique to its flexible screen. The device has an extra four-inch screen on the outside, allowing users to enjoy basic features - like checking emails and messages - without having to flip it open.
Separately, Samsung even reported record profits in Q3 2018, but most of that credit goes to its semi-conductor business. The company's smartphone vertical saw a decline in sales from last year, and it largely blames its mid and low-end devices for low sales figures. The earnings report states that Samsung's mobile division earned KRW 24.77 trillion in revenue in Q3 2018 with KRW 2.2 trillion in profit, which is a lot less compared to the same period last year.
Samsung also blames increased cost of promotions and a negative currency impact in specific regions as well. However, it is positive about the fourth quarter due to the holiday sales peak and the newly launched Galaxy A7 and Galaxy A9 series response. Samsung also hopes that foldable phones and 5G phones will increase the sales numbers further.
"Samsung will strive to expand sales of premium smartphones through differentiated design and a diversified lineup. The company will also solidify its market leadership by adopting cutting-edge technologies across its entire Galaxy lineup, including the Galaxy A series. Moreover, Samsung will strengthen its competitiveness in the mid- to long-term by leading innovation with the launch of foldable and 5G smartphones as well as enhancing its Bixby-based AI and IoT services," the company explains.