Enamored by Samsung’s foldable devices that come in tablet-cum-phone as well as clamshell form factors? Well, those are about to take a backseat as the company has started laying the groundwork for another landmark innovation – rollable phones. Ahead of the Display Week 2021 conference, Samsung Display has showcased new innovations that it is currently working on, and one of them includes rollable panels for smartphones. Samsung Galaxy Z Roll, anyone?
In an official blog post, Samsung Display has revealed that its rollable or slideable (translated from Korean) screen will pave the way for making smartphones with an extendable screen. The company notes that it will allow users the ability to carry a tablet-sized screen in a pocketable form factor. The premise is identical to what foldable devices like the Galaxy Z Fold 2 have to offer, except the underlying display technology is different.
Samsung is currently the undisputed leader of the global foldable smartphone market. Yes, the debut was not as stellar as the company would have hoped for, but subsequent phones such as the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Galaxy Z Flip 5G ironed out a lot of those issues and were actually specimens of great engineering. It now appears that Samsung wants to replicate the same success with rollable phones, and it definitely has the expertise as well as resources to pull that off.
However, Samsung is not the first one to enter the foldable phone game. LG actually showcased its ambitious Rollable phone a few months ago, but the shutdown of its phone division means the device will never make it to the market. Chinese smartphone giant OPPO also took a stab at the rollable form factor with the OPPO X 2021 concept and showcased a working prototype on video too. However, that phone is unlikely to hit the market anytime soon as the device is yet to pass internal quality tests before it hits the shelves.
Samsung has not given a date when it plans to launch its rollable phone. But the company has a solid opportunity to take an early lead here by getting a rollable phone in the hands of customers before any of its rivals do. This is not the first time we’re hearing about Samsung’s rollable ambitions though, as a Samsung Display executive confirmed earlier this year that work on rollable and slideable screens is already underway.