Samsung has announced it will utilise foldable OLED screens in its 2018 smartphones.

Rumours have been circulating for years that the South Korean tech giant would release a foldable smartphone. And a rollable tablet has even been teased after Samsung was awarded a patent in January.

But news the futuristic technology will appear in smartphones this year is likely to cause some hype. It was confirmed in a conference call about Samsung's fourth quarter earnings in 2017. "In 2018, we will differentiate through development of cutting-edge products such as foldable OLED smartphones," Gizmodo reported.

Details are still scarce about when Samsung would release the device. Consumers hoping to see foldable screens in the Galaxy S9 should not get their hopes up, though. Several leaks have all but confirmed the design of Samsung's next flagship.

The most likely device for the foldable OLED would be the Galaxy Note 9, primed for release towards the end of the year. Failing that, Samsung could be unveiling an all-new smartphone.

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If it is anything like the proposed rollable tablet, fans will be in for a treat. First reported by LetsGoDigital, the rollable display would use magnets to lock the screen into a tubular canister when not in use. While details are still scant, the canister would likely also house all the components of the device, meaning when the screen is being used the tablet will be razor thin.

Samsung is hopeful the technology can even reduce the portability of a tablet device so it fits into a pocket. LG showed off a flexible OLED display last year but has not yet included the features in any of its commercially available devices.