Here is news that shouldn't be all that surprising to anyone who's paid attention to past rumours regarding Samsung's fabled foldable smartphone. Despite the company seemingly confirmed it would be released before the year's end, rumours now claim it won't arrive until early 2019.
This certainly isn't the first time people have got their hopes up about a Samsung-made folding phone, only for it to never actually materialise. Well done Samsung, you're toying with all of our emotions. Or at least, the emotions of the people who care about having a folding smartphone. At the moment I can't say there's anything that makes me care, beyond professional intrigue.
This news comes via a report from The Investor, which claims Samsung has informed its suppliers to prepare new components in time for November this year. It also claims that the phone supply will take three months to assemble, which would likely see the launch window arrive just in time for Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. As for the extent to that supply, The Investor claims it will be between 300,000 and 500,000 devices during the initial production run - far less than the 50 million devices that tend to get shipped with the Galaxy S or Note branding.
Apparently this significantly reduced number is to gauge the marketability of the folding device, similar to how the Galaxy Note Edge launched as a limited edition variant of the Galaxy Note 4 before eventually becoming the standard design for all S and Note handsets.
It's not a surprise that the phone isn't coming when we expected it to, because that always seems to happen where this particular rumour is concerned. That said the fact Samsung has allegedly informed its suppliers to make sure they have the components ready is a good sign that we might actually get to see it this time. Expect more rumours as the months pass, especially once manufacturing begins. [The Investor via Ubergizmo]