World

Samsung reveals foldable phone

SAN FRANCISCO: Samsung Electronics unveiled its anticipated foldable phone in San Francisco on Wednesday, urging Android developers to start writing apps for it.

Samsung needs to get the foldable phone right to reverse steep declines in profit and restore some of the cachet its brand has lost to Apple. Foldable phones promise the screen of a small tablet in a pocket-sized device.

Mr Justin Denison, a senior vice-president of mobile product marketing, showed a prototype with a screen he said measured 18.5cm diagonally.

Folded in two, it appeared to resemble a thick phone.

Mr Dave Burke, vice-president of engineering for Google's Android software platform, told a Google conference in California that Samsung planned to introduce a new Android-based device early next year.

"We expect to see foldable products from several Android manufacturers," he said.

MASS PRODUCTION

Samsung said it would be ready for mass production in the coming months.

Developer Joshua Clark, who was at the conference, said Samsung needs to sell the technology to its competitors for the product to be widely adopted.

"I really think it only takes two companies, and then all of the sudden it will catch on," said Mr Clark.

"And the fact that Google was on stage, that says a lot. For developers to be able to integrate it with all their apps, that gives me a lot of confidence."

Analyst Bob O'Donnell with Technalysis Research said while the bendable screen provided a wow factor, shoppers may not like the thickness of the folded phone or its price tag.

"They will have to prove that it's more than just a gimmick,"he said. - REUTERS

WORLD