How Samsung foldables are defining the future of smartphone innovation – The Island


When Samsung Electronics unveiled its first flexible display prototype in 2011, few realized they were getting a glimpse of the future of the mobile industry. Now, a decade later, Samsung shipped four times more foldable devices in 2021 than it did in 2020, beating analysts’ expectations of three times the market growth.

Consumer enthusiasm for Samsung foldables is exemplified by the success of the Galaxy Z series. In the first month since their launch, the Galaxy Z Fold3 and Z Flip3 surpassed the total cumulative sales of Samsung foldable devices in 2020.

With foldable smartphone shipments forecast to increase tenfold by 2023, let’s take a look at the key moments, top innovations, and key partnerships that have helped make foldable devices the next big thing.

Bringing foldable devices to consumers around the world

Samsung may have first introduced the concept of foldable displays in 2011, but it would take over a decade to bring foldable devices to consumers around the world.

The next big milestone came in 2019 when Samsung finally turned its foldable vision into reality with the Galaxy Fold, its first foldable device. The Galaxy Z Flip came shortly after. The sleek clamshell design – a nod to previous flip phones – made the Galaxy Z Flip instantly iconic.

After a decade of progress and three generations of innovation, the Galaxy Z Fold3 and Z Flip3 brought improved durability and user experience to foldable devices. Not only have they set a new standard in the industry, but they’ve reignited consumer interest in smartphones in general.

From developing new materials and methods to overcoming mechanical challenges, the development of the foldable category required Samsung to reinvent the smartphone from the ground up.

From the start, Samsung engineers understood that the key to creating a new category would lie in inventing a range of new technologies to ensure the devices met the expectations of global consumers.

For example, the Infinity Flex Display and Samsung UTG enabled the world’s first foldable glass display. While its screen can be a continuous piece of glass, the body of a foldable device has two distinct components. This unique structure meant the engineers had to completely rethink the placement of internal components in order to achieve a design slim enough for everyday use. This challenge included the development of a new internal cooling system as well as a dual battery system with technology that optimizes multiple power sources as one.

To ensure the devices can withstand hundreds of thousands of folds, a Hideaway Hinge mechanism has been designed with Sweeper technology to keep out dust and debris. The hinge also added a new layer of functionality to Samsung’s foldable devices, allowing them to stand on their own, making them perfect for watching content, making video calls or taking hands-free selfies.

Samsung’s commitment to developing new foldable innovations allowed the company to hit another major milestone in 2021 with the release of the Galaxy Z Fold3 and Z Flip3 – the first foldable devices to receive an IPX8 waterproof rating.

But the features that make Samsung foldables stand out aren’t all hidden beneath the surface. With App Continuity – a responsive user interface that offers seamless transitions between folded and unfolded modes – and features like Multi-Active Window and Flex Mode, Samsung foldable devices have opened up new ways for users to work, play and express themselves.


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