Numerous reports over the years have suggested that Samsung is working on a foldable smartphone. In fact, the company even has a patent that describes how it might be able to achieve such a feat. And we don’t mean a smartphone like the Kyocera Echo, which was more of a Nintendo 3DS-style device, but a device that actually folds. Now, a new report out of Korea suggests that Samsung is working on a tablet/smartphone hybrid, dubbed a “smartlet.”
According to a report from ETNews, Samsung’s smartlet exists as a 5-inch smartphone when you want it to, but can unfold into a 7-inch tablet when you need a bigger display. The news outlet said Samsung is set to mass produce the device by the end of this year with plans to get the device on the market sometime next year. The key technology that allows the device to function properly is apparently a special Samsung OLED display that can bend “in half.”
Samsung has already proven that it’s capable of creating new smartphone designs – it basically made the phablet category with the Galaxy Note, and has established curved displays in the mass market with phones such as the Galaxy S6 Edge and Galaxy S7 Edge. Looks like foldable devices are next.