Samsung is set to unveil a foldable smartphone this year

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Samsung will release a foldable smartphone this year, DJ Koh, CEO of the company’s mobile division told CNBC.

Koh said the company is focusing on how to make the unfolded phone different from a tablet.

Koh said the device could be unveiled this year at the Samsung Developers Conference in November.

Samsung will unveil a foldable smartphone later this year, the CEO of its mobile division told CNBC, amid rumors that such a device was in the works.

DJ Koh said that “it’s time to deliver” on a foldable device after consumer surveys carried out by Samsung showed that there is a market for that kind of handset.

Speaking to CNBC, Koh ran through the design thinking of the upcoming smartphone, particularly how Samsung is trying to differentiate the experience from a tablet once it is unfolded.

“You can use most of the uses … on foldable status. But when you need to browse or see something, then you may need to unfold it. But even unfolded, what kind of benefit does that give compared to the tablet? If the unfolded experience is the same as the tablet, why would they (consumers) buy it?,” Koh said at the IFA electronics show in Berlin last week.

“So every device, every feature, every innovation should have a meaningful message to our end customer. So when the end customer uses it, (they think) ‘wow, this is the reason Samsung made it’.”

Koh said the device could be unveiled this year at the Samsung Developer Conference in November in San Francisco. The mobile CEO admitted that while the development process is “complicated,” the company has “nearly concluded” it.

The move comes as Samsung looks to reinvigorate growth in its mobile division which saw sales fall 20 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2018. The South Korean technology giant is facing stiff competition from Apple and Huawei in the high-end of the market. A folding phone could differentiate it from its competitors and potentially allow it to charge a higher price for the unique device.

Koh also told CNBC that the company is changing its strategy in the mid-tier smartphone market to pack lower priced devices with new technology in order to appeal more to millennials.

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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