According to Nikkei Asia, Samsung is focusing on a double-folding handset to add to its lineup (via 9to5Google). According to the article, the handset will fold into three sections using two hinges and could be revealed: “as early as the end of this year.” The phone will be the third choice in Samsung’s foldable range, following the Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip, all of which are scheduled to be released this year.
The design is still being finalized, according to the article, but Nikkei’s sources suggest its screen may have a more traditional 16:9 or 18:9 aspect ratio, making it simpler for app developers to design for than the 25:9 screen shown on the Z Fold.
We’ve previously seen phones with several folds: Xiaomi’s folding phone concept folded at two points, but the company upcoming foldable is said to have a more Galaxy Fold-like shape. Huawei’s Mate X2 foldable phone has a style that is identical to Samsung’s. It would be ironic, then, that Samsung was developing a double-folding design after others have followed its single-fold design.
Samsung may be launching the latest kind of foldable to ease its power users into the form factor transition. The company has stated that it will not release a new Galaxy Note this year but has not specified why. There was talk of streamlining the phone options and a global chip shortage, so this may be a survey to see whether Note customers are up for the transition. By providing consumers with three foldable choices, the company could be attempting to increase the likelihood that people can choose one that works for them.
The release of the multifold phone would most likely be determined by Samsung’s ability to manage the chip shortages that have plagued the entire industry. Folding phones are already more difficult to produce than normal smartphones, and if Samsung is unable to obtain the requisite chips, the company’s plans will be pushed back. It’s interesting to learn that Samsung is working on a third kind of foldable, as it shows that the company believes the form factor is the way of the future.