Samsung demos foldable phone prototypes

Analysts who attended Samsung's analyst day on Wednesday were shown prototype mobile devices that can fold in half, says the Wall Street Journal.

Samsung's curved-display Galaxy Round is a step in the evolution toward foldable phones.
Samsung's curved-display Galaxy Round is a step in the evolution toward foldable phones. Samsung

Samsung has given financial analysts a peek into the future of mobile phones.

At its analyst day on Wednesday, the smartphone maker showed off prototypes of foldable phones and devices that could reach consumers within the next few years, the Wall Street Journal has reported. Reporters were not allowed in on the fun, and even the analysts in attendance were restricted from taking photos. But one description paints a good picture of what's on the horizon.

"The first one they showed us was the size of a [Galaxy] S3 smartphone which can be folded in half from top to bottom," Daiwa Securities analyst Jae Lee told the Journal. "So like a compact powder used by women." Another device was the "the size of a lengthy wallet which can be unfolded on both sides into the size of a tablet computer." Lee said, adding that both of the devices looked pretty good.

Jefferies analyst Sundeep Bajikar said that the foldable devices "would further expand Samsung's competitive advantage in premium smartphones."

Samsung aims to unveil phones with foldable displays by the end of 2015. However, the actual products will likely take longer to reach consumers. The evolution from curved to bendable to foldable displays will require that the glass used in today's screens be replaced by plastic able to withstand heat and bend at sharp angles yet be as clear as glass, the Journal noted.

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