Samsung plans foldable Galaxy Note for 2018

Alex Kidman 13 September 2017 NEWS

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The follow-up to the Galaxy Note 8 might just be a foldable Note.

Samsung is still in the process of launching the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 smartphone here in Australia and worldwide, but technology rarely sits still for long. The South Korean technology giant has today announced plans to deliver a foldable smartphone under the Galaxy Note branding in 2018.

According to the Associated Press, Samsung plans to release a phone with a flexible OLED display as soon as feasible in 2018, although it's prepared to hold back depending on production issues.

"As the head of the business, I can say our current goal is next year," Samsung president of mobile business Koh Dong-jin has said. "When we can overcome some problems for sure, we will launch the product."

Samsung has been working on flexible displays for mobiles since at least 2013 when it showed off a prototype labelled Youm. However, the issues surrounding flexible phones and safety are non-trivial. Samsung would undoubtedly want to avoid any issues surrounding battery safety, which occurred with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7.

The timing of the announcement is unlikely to be coincidental, occurring just as Apple prepares to launch the Apple iPhone X. In further competitive news, Samsung's Koh also stated that the company was using subsidiary Harman to develop an AI-based speaker for music and personal assistant tasks. It's likely that such a device would use the Bixby assistant found in the existing Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+ and Galaxy Note 8 devices, which would put it directly into competition with Apple's upcoming HomePod, as well as Google Home and Amazon's Echo products.

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