Behold Samsung’s foldable sliding screen of the future

Behold Samsung's foldable sliding screen of the future
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Samsung wants gadgets of the future to be able to do more than just halve themselves. That message was clear CES, where the smartphone manufacturer presented its flexible display concepts. Among the most notable was the flex hybrid, which has a screen that folds and slides to change its size.

The Flex Hybrid folds like a notebook, but opens up to reveal a tablet-sized display with an adjustable screen. The display can switch between 10.5 and 12.4 inch screen sizes thanks to its sliding and foldable design. In addition to changing the screen size, the prototype can also switch between 4:3 and 16:10 aspect ratios. Although the Flex Hybrid is just a concept, it shows that Samsung is exploring what the next evolution of foldable phones and tablets might look like.

The Flex Hybrid is just one of several models that Samsung is launching in a Jan. 3 press release. There’s also a 17-inch sliding display that debuted in September and a digital cockpit concept for self-driving vehicles. My colleague Eli Blumenthal, who had the opportunity Check out Samsung’s concepts in person at CES, said these designs have renewed his enthusiasm for the future of foldable devices.

Continue reading: CES 2023: How to watch the biggest announcements from Samsung, LG, Nvidia

Samsung presented its display concepts at CES 2023.

David Katzmaier/CNET

Concepts like these don’t always translate into real products, but the Flex Hybrid fits best with Samsung’s current product strategy. Foldable phones only make up part of the broader phone market, but the Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip have become well established in Samsung’s line of mobile devices. The company’s early entry into the foldable phone space has given it a market share advantage, as Samsung accounts for more than 88% of the foldable smartphone market, according to Samsung Omdia.

TM Roh, head of Samsung’s mobile experience business, suggested in an interview last August that the company is already thinking about what comes next after the Z Fold and Z Flip. The introduction of new concepts like the Flex Hybrid underscores this point.

“It’s all you saw [at CES] plus more,” he said, referring to the display concepts Samsung presented itself at the CES last year.

But Samsung is also likely to face more competition as foldable phones evolve. Motorola and TCL have both shown their own rollable phone concepts. Oppo’s Find N2, which the company presented at the end of 2022, is also promising thanks to its lightweight construction. as my colleague Sareena Dayaram wrote.

Although Samsung is trying to make foldable devices a more permanent part of our daily lives, it’s not aiming to replace regular phones.

“I wouldn’t see just one latch type, or just one foldable, or just another potentially new form factor dominating the market,” Roh also said during the previous interview. “But I tend to see the different categories coexisting.”

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