By Jane Lanhee Lee
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Samsung Electronics Co Ltd launched its much-anticipated folding cellphone at a conference for developers in San Francisco on Wednesday, urging Android programmers to start writing applications for the product.
The South Korean electronics giant also launched a new flexible moving screen technology for its folding phone, called infinity flex display and said it worked with Google on development.
Foldable cellphones hold the promise that allows consumers to do more complicated work than is usually done on a tablet or laptop, but with a much more compact device.
The purpose of Samsung's Wednesday event is to gather critical feedback because new technology will require developers to tweak the application to ensure they run smoothly when the cellphone folds out into tablet form.
The South Korean technology giant is one of the few companies that have marked that folding phones will soon come to the market.
Even though so far the mother is right, analysts expect the launch date in the first half of 2019 – every time and Samsung will run the risk of Apple's new cellphone stealing its thunder.
Dave Burke, vice president of engineering for Android, confirmed that the time frame at the Google conference was held separately in California.
"This is an interesting concept and we hope to see products that can be folded from several Android manufacturers," he said.
"In fact, we have worked with Samsung on a new device that is planned to be launched early next year."
China 's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd also said it plans to launch a 5G smartphone with a folding screen by mid 2019.
Both Samsung and Huawei, however, have been beaten by Royole on the market, a display made in China, which last week launched a foldable cellphone with a 7.8-inch screen, priced around $ 1,300. Royole said it would start filling orders from the end of December, although little is known about the company's projected sales.
The high price tag is expected to prevent foldable phones from immediately becoming big hits, and some analysts doubt there is a big appetite for the product.
Samsung did not provide details about the price of its new phone on Wednesday.
The company must get foldable cellphone rights – hoping it will reverse the sharp decline in profits for the mobile division and return some of the premium stamps that have been lost to Apple Inc.
The initial look for developers also underlines a new level of caution in product planning after expensive withdrawals for the 2016 Galaxy Note 7 which are prone to fire.
(Reporting by Jane Lanhee Lee, Munsif Vengattil and Paresh Dave; editing by Patrick Graham and Maj. Samuel)
(This story has not been edited by Standard Business staff and is automatically generated from syndicated feeds.)