Samsung is said to be prepping production of a dual-screen smartphone that it will trial with business partners later this year, in an attempt to gauge whether the world is ready for foldable gadgets.
According to ET News, Samsung plans to manufacture between 2,000-3,000 units of the prototype 'Project Valley' device starting this summer, which will feature two 5in OLED displays with "almost no bezel" and separated by a flexible hinge.
Project Valley is an initiative under which Samsung is believed to be developing its flexible Samsung Galaxy X smartphone. While the company eventually aims to create a flexible device constructed from one OLED panel, the early prototype is described as "an early vision" of Samsung's foldable phone.
Sources claimed that the device will be used to test waters with major business partners and as such would not reach regular consumers. The prototype can be folded outwards 180 degrees with the two OLED panels designed to work independently, rather than used as one large screen as depicted in various concept art.
This is because foldable phones are unfamiliar to consumers, so Samsung instead wants to optimise the device's multitasking abilities so that it can develop ideas for a new type of user interface, sources said.
An anonymous spokesperson told ET News: "Since foldable products draw the most attention in markets recently, it is important to understand demands and ideas regarding new UX through this prototype. This is part of Samsung Electronics' effort to introduce foldable Smartphones as ultra-premium products."
Samsung has already proved itself capable of developing flexible display technology but is reported to be hesitant about bringing such a radical new gadget to market. As such, exactly when we'll see the fabled Galaxy X remains a mystery, although comments made by Samsung insiders recently suggested it could be as far away as 2019.
Even so, the number of reports coming through about Samsung's work on the project leaves little doubt that it's something the company has in the works.