samsung galaxy X foldable smartphone

Korean electronics giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (KRX:005930) could reportedly launch Galaxy X with a foldable display. The company has planned to introduce the device as early as the beginning of the next year. Industry Analysts claim that the device could cost anything around KRW 2 million, which amounts to whopping $1800 or more – almost doubled the price of iPhone X.

Sources close to the company revealed that the Galaxy X will have a massive 7.3 inch OLED display which when folded, can be reduced to 4.5 inches. Samsung is expected to use an ‘artificial muscle‘ technology, to achieve a folding screen without harming the components inside. Samsung Electronics’ Handset Division will start receiving the required components by part affiliates and first-tier subcontractors by November 2018, and is expected to unveil a prototype in CES (Consumer Electronic Show) to be held in January 2019 in Las Vegas.

The report also claims that Samsung might release the device with two displays on the inner side and one on the outer side. Interestingly, Samsung had filed a trademark for the name Galaxy X in 2017, prior to the release of even Galaxy S8.

Samsung had filed a host of patents surrounding the foldable screen technology and was awarded most of them on May 2, 2018. The concepts were of both the bi-fold screen and also the tri-fold screen.

        

Some sources claim that Samsung might have displayed the prototype of the fold-able screen in a private showcasing in CES 2018. The report suggests that Samsung showcased both the in-folding display and the out-folding display. The in-folding display had a curvature of 1R while the out folding display had a curvature of 5R.

Samsung Galaxy X: The Impact on Market Scenario

Reportedly, Samsung enjoyed a fat 21.8% market share in 2017, while Apple’s market share in the same year was around 15.2%. Samsung shipped close to 310 million units, while Apple’s statistics reveal that the Cupertino based company shipped over 215 million units in 2017. It would be quite unjust to compare the figures this way because Samsung has a host of devices in all price segments while Apple only plays in the upper midrange and the premium section.

Though the recent offering by Samsung, the Galaxy S9 and S9 plus, beat Apple’s iPhone X to become the best selling smartphone of all time. The data released by Counterpoint Research claims that the S9 and S9 plus each enjoy a market share of 2.6%, while Apple’s iPhone X has a market share of 2.3%. It would be interesting to see how the market dynamics change after the launch of Samsung Galaxy X as it would be the first foldable smartphone to face consumers’ reaction.

As per as some reports suggest, Samsung might manufacture only around 300,000 to 600,000 pieces of Galaxy X initially. Given its magnanimous pricing, this might be rational move from Samsung’s side. On a contrasting note, Samsung reportedly shipped out 8 million units of its Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 plus, within just a month of its launch. A further of 2.8 million units were expected to be shipped to the United States, while around a million more in South Korea itself. A total of 45 million units of the devices are expected to be sold, in their lifetime. On contrary, Samsung sold around 41 million units of S8 in the same time frame.

Not the Lone Wolf?

Samsung might not be the only OEM giant working on this technology. As per as the leaks suggest, Apple, Microsoft, Oppo, Huawei, ZTE, Motorola and LG are also working on this project in their backyards. However, with the launch of Galaxy X early next year Samsung would definitely like to take the early mover advantage.