Samsung Foldable Phones Release Date, News: Possible Launch Eyed in Q3 2017

REUTERS/Kim Hong-JiSamsung headquarters in Seoul, South Korea

Recent reports suggest that South Korean electronics giant Samsung is going to unveil a lineup of foldable smartphones by the third quarter of the year.

The Korea Herald reported that a source "familiar with the matter" has told the publication that Samsung is expected to release "fold-out devices" later this year. However, it looks like it will be a limited release as there will only be 100,000 units to be produced.

The same report explained that the display panels of the rumored devices will "face outward upon folding." When unfolded, the device spreads to a 7-inch screen and can be used as a tablet.

According to the report, Samsung has already completed the development of another type of folding device. These are "fold-in" smartphones or devices that "tuck the screen inside when folded." The development process wrapped up as early as August last year.

"Since the company already secured fold-in phone technology, it was not a big challenge to shift into the fold-out phones," unnamed sources reportedly told The Korea Herald.

Multiple sources have varying reports about the release of the foldable smartphones. The lineup's launch is yet to be decided since Samsung is still considering important factors such as the marketability and profitability of the rumored device.

"The final decision will be made after the personnel reshuffle of the company's information technology and mobile communications unit is carried out," according to The Korea Herald's "initial source."

The reshuffling at Samsung headquarters is traditionally done in December. But given the current political climate and controversy in South Korea where the electronics company was also dragged in, the reorganization is expected to happen between February and March.

It is not the first time that foldable smartphones from Samsung made it to the headlines. Back in November, renders of the rumored device have surfaced. In early 2016, reports of a patent  called "Foldable display apparatus and method of manufacturing the same," which was originally filed in 2013, also surfaced online.

Samsung has yet to officially acknowledge the existence of these rumored projects.