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WSJ: Samsung’s foldable smartphone to arrive ‘early next year’ w/ 7-inch screen

Samsung has long been rumored to be developing a foldable Android smartphone. According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, it could finally be coming early next year…

As Samsung faces lowering sales figures, the giant is apparently prepping this foldable phone as something new. Currently being prototyped, the device codenamed “Winner” apparently has a 7-inch folding screen which can be folded in half “like a wallet.”

While many have expected Samsung to use a form factor that is a phone first, tablet second, this device may actually turn out to be a tablet all of the time. When folded, the screen wouldn’t be visible, with just a small display “bar” on the outside alongside the cameras. Presumably, that bar would be used for showing crucial information such as notifications.

When unfolded, the device has a 7-inch display like a tablet. Thanks to this design, though, it’s much more of a portable device that fits in pockets and purses.

The screen can be folded in half, like a wallet, these people said. When folded, the exterior of the phone boasts a small display bar on the front and cameras in the back, they added.

The foldable-screen device has long been one of the industry’s most hotly-rumored pursuits, with several phone makers said to be developing their own versions. Unlike a traditional flip phone, the device when opened would be almost all screen, giving consumers a large display akin to a tablet, with the portability of a phone that could fit in a consumer’s hand, pocket or purse.

Apparently, Samsung plans to target specific markets with this device in a small rollout when it debuts in early 2019. A broader debut could take place later in the year. The device has been in development for some time, but the report mentions that the project has taken on a “greater sense of urgency” in recent months.

As far as specs and pricing details for this device, we simply don’t know just yet. WSJ mentions that pricing could surpass $1,500, with Samsung betting on the device’s novelty to convince some to give it a shot.

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