“Have you folded it once?”… Samsung brought out ‘cross (+)’ foldable phone in pursuit of China

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picture explanationGalaxy Z Multifold (tentative name). [사진 출처 = 레츠고디지털]

In the foldable phone market dominated by Samsung, Chinese manufacturers are also joining the competition by launching new products. In the midst of this, Samsung is challenging the super-gap once again with the release of a foldable phone that can fold both horizontally and vertically.

Fold both horizontally and vertically… applied with double hinges

According to the industry on the 18th, Dutch IT media Let’s Go Digital predicted the rendering of ‘Galaxy Z Multifold’ (tentative name) based on information shared by Korean Twitter user ‘Dohyun Kim’ (@dohyun854) last month and Samsung Electronics’ patent information obtained last year. image was released.

Galaxy Z Multifold (tentative name). [사진 출처 = 레츠고디지털]

picture explanationGalaxy Z Multifold (tentative name). [사진 출처 = 레츠고디지털]

This device has a ‘double hinge’ structure with hinges applied to both the horizontal and vertical axes. Out-folding is applied when the screen is folded around the vertical axis, and in-folding is applied when folding up and down around the horizontal axis. Let’s Go Digital explained, “It provides all the advantages of Huawei Mate X (out-folding) and Samsung Galaxy Fold (in-folding).”

Since it has a structure that folds both inside and out, there is no need for a separate cover Digiplay. Accordingly, a reduction in the factory price can be expected due to cost reduction, but as one more hinge is installed, the possibility that the factory price will be lower than that of the previous model is low.

Of course, there are also downsides. The out-folding method is vulnerable to damage and is sensitive to impact as the display is exposed to the outside. Also, as the device can be folded in two directions, there is a possibility that more wrinkles or lines will stand out on the screen.

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It is unreasonable to completely remove wrinkles due to the nature of the foldable phone, but it seems that the key is to minimize wrinkles by folding both horizontally and vertically. Let’s Go Digital said, “I want the multi-fold to be as inconspicuous as possible as the two lines are visible.”

When unfolded, the multi-fold size is expected to be slightly larger than the Galaxy Z Fold 3 (7.6 inches) and smaller than the iPad mini 6 (8.3 inches).

However, it is unclear whether the patents that Samsung has applied for will lead to actual commercialization. An industry official said, “Usually, if we look at the process until the launch of a new product, we first register a patent, then look at the market reaction, and then decide whether to release it by comprehensively judging various aspects such as price, usability, and mass production.”

When the Galaxy Z Multifold (tentative name) is unfolded around the vertical axis. [사진 출처 = 레츠고디지털]

picture explanationWhen the Galaxy Z Multifold (tentative name) is unfolded around the vertical axis. [사진 출처 = 레츠고디지털]

◆ Samsung, will the foldable phone continue the gap again?

When Samsung Electronics launches a multi-foldable phone, it will once again lead the global stage with its technological prowess.

Even at the time of the world’s first Samsung foldable phone released in 2019, it received a lot of ridicule and criticism, such as “Fold up a hot dog.” Although there have been several crises due to product defects and wrinkles, Samsung is now leading the market with overwhelming technology and market share in the foldable phone market.

According to Display Supply Chain Consulting (DSCC), a market research firm, Samsung Electronics’ share in the global foldable phone market reached 96% in the fourth quarter of last year. Chinese companies such as Huawei and Xiaomi hold the remaining 4%. In the industry, Samsung’s attempt to change the form factor is evaluated as a natural procedure to survive the competition. The reason is that ‘technology’ is the only competitive edge to defeat China’s low-price offensive.

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In the past, smartphones made by Chinese manufacturers were only perceived as ‘cheap phones’ with low prices and low performance. However, in recent years, as technology has improved significantly and prices have been maintained at low prices, it has risen to a position that threatens Samsung Electronics.

Chinese companies such as Huawei, Xiaomi, and Oppo have introduced new foldable phones since last year and are making aggressive moves in the foldable phone market.

Vivo's 'X-fold'. [사진 제공 = 비보]

picture explanationVivo’s ‘X-fold’. [사진 제공 = 비보]

Recently, China’s Vivo also joined the competition by unveiling its first foldable phone. On the 12th, Vivo introduced the ‘X-Fold’ and said, “The X-Fold has acquired the world’s first 300,000-folding safety certification.”

[김승한 매경닷컴 기자]
[ⓒ 매일경제 & mk.co.kr, 무단전재 및 재배포 금지]

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