President of Mobile Communication at Samsung Electronics, Koh Dong-jin, stated that the tech company is planning to roll out a foldable handset next year. Also, the Samsung exec made it known that the firm is working on a voice-controlled speaker, which is anticipated to be pre-loaded in the foldable device.

According to Bloomberg, the South Korean tech company will launch the flexible mobile device under the Galaxy Note series. This appears to be the first time that the company has publicly spoken about their plans for a foldable handset.

Rumors about Samsung’s folding smartphone have been mounting up on the internet for quite some time now as the firm was been working on the device for years.

According to Phone Arena, the company showcased a 4.5-inch flexible AMOLED screen during the CES 2011. Also, the firm showed a flexible display prototype in 2013.

Samsung speeding up the device’s development

With the Samsung president claiming that the tech company is planning to release its flexible smartphone in 2018, it appears that the firm is accelerating the development of the handset. However, Koh stated that the company still needs to resolve some issues before rolling out the mobile device.

One challenge that the company might face is getting developers to fit their apps to the device’s folding screens. Hong stated that the apps will make the handset smarter, particularly third-party apps. A person’s handset will be meaningless if its apps do not support foldable features.

Koh did not actually specify the design of its foldable mobile device.

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However, Bloomberg has previously reported that the company was developing two models of the flexible smartphone. One that folds out and turns into a tablet, while the other folds inwards, which is similar to a clamshell handset.

Other companies with foldable handset

Samsung is not the only tech firm developing a flexible mobile device. Lenovo previously showed off a prototype of a concept tablet, a device that when folded turns into a two screen handset. ZTE is also working on a 6.8-inch dual-screen folding mobile device, dubbed the Axon Multy. The company might roll out the dual-screen later this month.

This is the first time Samsung has set a date for the release of its mobile device. However, The tech company has yet to officially announce the foldable smartphone’s specific launch date, specs, features and price.