[THE INVESTOR] Samsung Electronics will likely introduce its first folding smartphone at the annual Samsung Developer Conference scheduled in San Francisco on Nov. 7-8.

Market rumors abound that the innovative phone will be made public soon as Samsung is trying to claim the title of the world’s first foldable smartphone maker.

“Before the foldable smartphone hits shelves early next year, Samsung is expected to unveil details of the hardware specifications, design, user interface and user exchange at the conference,” an industry official was quoted as saying by local daily Chosun Ilbo on Sept. 10.

The planned unveiling is aimed at helping Samsung’s conference — equivalent to Apple’s WWDC and Google I/O — receive more spotlight and attract seasoned developers to grow its mobile ecosystem.

Apple and Google showcase new products and solutions at their respective conferences for developers each year, receiving a huge deal of attention from the media and consumers.

With the unveiling of the foldable phone, developers will likely be able to get an idea of what Samsung’s first foldable smartphone is likely to be like before rolling out tailored services.

The November showcase is also intended to keep Chinese smartphone maker Huawei in check, as it plans to launch its own foldable smartphone in the same month.

Samsung mobile division CEO Koh Dong-jin said at a press conference in August that the tech giant does not want to lose the world’s first tittle.

According to sources, Samsung’s first foldable smartphone is said to feature a 7.3-inch OLED display, which can be folded inward with a curvature radius of 1.5 millimeters. An extra 4.6-inch OLED display is said to be installed on one side of the phone.

Other up-to-date devices and solutions, including artificial intelligence speakers, will likely be showcased along with the new smartphone at the conference.

The Korean smartphone maker is likely to give details of its Galaxy Home AI speaker, which was first introduced at the unveiling event of Galaxy Note 9 in August. It is said to be priced at US$399 — more expensive than those of Google or Amazon, which are less than US$100.

By Kim Young-won (wone0102@heraldcorp.com)



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