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Report: Samsung preparing ‘double-folding’ phone alongside new Z Fold and Z Flip this year

While Samsung is skipping its Galaxy Note series this year as a result of the chip shortage, the company is apparently going to heavily bet on foldables, with its 2021 plans including a new Galaxy Z Fold, a new Z Flip, and a double-folding device.

Nikkei Asia reports that Samsung has these three devices in its lineup for 2021. It was all but certain that Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 2 (or 3) would make their respective releases during the calendar year, but this latest report adds more credence to previous rumors.

Most notably, though, is the reveal that Samsung is apparently working on a “double-folding” smartphone. While most details regarding the device aren’t mentioned, Nikkei claims that it could see a release date as soon as later this year. Apparently, a goal of the new design is to have the fully unfolded display hit an aspect ratio of 16:9 or 18:9 to avoid the scaling issues present on the current Galaxy Z Fold 2.

Samsung has patented some designs of double-folding smartphones before, including one that surfaced in late 2020. That design saw a wide device with two “panels” that could fold out from the sides, expanding the size of the overall canvas or fold all the way around to the back. One speculated utility of the design was to use one of the two smaller panels as a keyboard with the rest of the display showing the content, possibly positioning the new form factor as one for productivity. That patent was first created in 2018, so it’s entirely possible that Samsung could have it ready, as least in smaller quantities, by the end of this year.

Beyond that, this report also claims that Samsung is looking to boost production and sales goals for foldables in 2021, possibly to match what the Galaxy Note series would have sold. One source claimed, contradictory to Samsung’s previous statement, that the decision to skip the Note this year was “pretty much decided” in 2020.

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