Earlier this year, Samsung finally confirmed speculation about its foldable phone. The Galaxy Fold was announced, which took advantage of flexible display technology to offer a unique form factor. Shortly after Huawei unveiled its own folding handset prototype, which featured a mechanism that folds outward. After delaying the release date to fix the issues, the product launched five months after its original target date. Despite the mixed reception, there are rumours about the company's plans to release a new version in 2020.
Even though reviews still highlight problems with the Galaxy Fold besides its prohibitive price range, Samsung states sales are better than expected. A report from SlashGear appears to question the validity of the claims, but point out the company's intention to make more foldable smartphones. After a series of problems with the review units it sent out to journalists in April, it's apparent that the plastic used as a protective layer for the display is to blame.
Industry insiders are hinting that Samsung might be considering a superior replacement for the PolyMide film used on the Galaxy Fold. Sources believe the company is looking into the unique properties of Ultra Thin Glass (UTG). This is an innovative material that reportedly offers exceptional scratch resistance akin to that of modern tempered panels. Currently, it is unclear which brand will become the supplier, but there are talks the potential candidates could be Corning, NEG, or Asahi.
In addition to the flexible glass, there is talk that the new Galaxy Fold will feature a new form factor. The current model opens up into a 7.3-inch tablet from a 4.6-inch handset when closed. According to sources, the upcoming device will sport a more familiar aesthetic. Unlike its predecessor, the foldable smartphone will come in a clamshell design like old-school flip phones.
This suggests Samsung might be pursuing a more portable form factor for its next foldable device. On the other hand, it is not the only foldable smartphone coming out next year. Microsoft recently teased consumers with a preview of the Surface Duo. Instead of a flexible display, the device goes for a more traditional approach with two separate displays linked by a 360-degree hinge. It remains to be seen how the new Galaxy Fold will utilise UTG to improve upon the outgoing model.