Not content to let others have all the fun in October, Lenovo has decided to tease an announcement of its own, showing off a flexible phone. If you feel like you’ve heard this story before, it’s probably because you have; Lenovo introduced us to a bendable wrist-phone in 2016. That concept device never made it to market so the latest news might seem like a similar PR stunt.
The Android industry as a whole has overhyped the concept of foldable smartphones to the point of near exhaustion, but none is a worse offender than Samsung. It's been teasing a foldable device for many years now (see 2014 concept below) but the feat of actually producing one that's durable and functionally innovative enough to commercially release has clearly been too challenging — at least, up until this point. CNBC has now reported that the mobile hardware giant has plans to unveil more details about a forthcoming foldable smartphone this year.
We've been hearing about Samsung's smartphone with a foldable screen for what seems like an eternity, but it looks like we'll have to wait a little longer to finally see the thing. Flexible screens have been demoed at trade shows for years, but getting them into a production-ready phone is another matter entirely. Samsung had seemed the most likely to make this dream a reality, but it must be as hard to do as it sounds — the project keeps getting put back.
Foldable smartphones with bendy screens have seemingly been on the horizon for some time. It's seen by some as the next great innovation in the industry, essentially giving you a tablet sized screen in a device with the footprint of a phone. While we've seen numerous concepts and heard many proclamations, nothing concrete has surfaced just yet. But that doesn't stop companies like Samsung from talking about it. In the latest comments to come from the Korean firm, Koh Dong-jin, president of mobile business, says the first flexible device could be ready in 2018.
Have you seen Firefly? I have. I love that show. Whedon's "used future" conceptions are second only to the Star Wars universe. In this world, the two dominant language cultures are Chinese and English, space ships can be cheap junkers like someone's first Honda is today, and crime bosses can toss around amazing, full-color, flexible displays like they're nothing. This is the future I want. To be very clear, PaperTab, while a great-looking concept, is not going to be taking us there.
"Watch out tablet lovers!" is how the description for the video starts. Given what we end up seeing, I can only interpret this as a warning shot.