Samsung dominated headlines out of CES 2024 this week with unveilings of foldable concept devices featuring never-before-seen form factors and display capabilities that point to a revolutionary future for mobile technology.
360-Degree Foldable Smartphone and Rollable Display Tablet Introduce New Era of Versatility
Samsung’s foldable display prototypes stole the show, most notably a smartphone concept that flexes a full 360 degrees to transform from phone to small tablet mode. This allows for versatile viewing angles and unprecedented multitasking flexibility.
The device builds on past foldable concepts Samsung has showcased in recent years, but takes the form factor to a new extreme with a completely wraparound display. When folded, the exterior shows a typical smartphone screen, but unfolding it provides a mini tablet experience that can flex all the way back on itself to enable new functionality.
Samsung also unveiled a 17-inch slidable tablet with a rollable OLED display, potentially delivering the power of a large monitor in a portable device by retracting and expanding the screen on demand.
|![360 degree foldable phone](https://i.pcmag.com/imagery/lineups/06XdQI1ESuP7iCf clenMRX_360_phone.fit_lim.size_1050x.jpg)
|Samsung’s wraparound foldable phone concept from CES 2024. (Credit: PCMag)
Stamp-Sized Foldables and Stretchable Displays Point to a Pliable Future
In addition to complete devices, Samsung showcased new foldable display technology that could enable smaller, thinner, and lighter foldable products. Concepts included a folding OLED panel the size of a business card and ultrathin glass that can bend repeatedly without breaking.
Engineers also demonstrated a stretchable OLED display that can expand by more than 50% while continuing to show imagery. These advancements promise devices with radical form factors that can contour to a variety of situations.
|An engineer demonstrates Samsung’s latest stretchable display technology. (Credit: PCMag)
Curved Everything – From Phones to TVs to Gaming Monitors
Curved displays have been an emerging trend in recent years, but Samsung is now bringing the immersive viewing experience to even more form factors.
The manufacturer unveiled multiple curved gaming monitors at CES 2024, including a 55-inch beast boasting an extreme 1000R curvature matched with a buttery smooth 240Hz refresh rate. Samsung also showed off the world’s first Smart Monitor with a curved 32-inch 4K display.
On the mobile front, Samsung demoed phone concepts featuring new curved-edge functionality enabled by their foldable and slidable nature. By flexing the devices, users can expose additional menu bars on the curved edges for easier access to shortcuts and controls.
|The massively curved, feature-packed Odyssey Ark monitor aims to revolutionize the gaming experience. (Credit: Dexerto)
What’s Next? – Foldables Poised for Mainstream Appeal
With incremental hardware and software improvements over several product generations, Samsung’s foldable devices are nearing the refinement and durability required for mainstream adoption.
Many of the bleeding-edge concepts shown at CES 2024 are likely still years away from realization as actual products. However, by previewing where the technology is headed, Samsung continues building enthusiasm through visionary demos.
With tablets declining in popularity over the last decade, Samsung is hoping the unique versatility of foldables can breathe new life into the category – essentially merging smartphones and tablets into one device. The manufacturer is also expanding its foldable ecosystem across a wider range of screen sizes to suit more potential applications.
While pricing remains a barrier, industry analysts predict foldables will achieve more mass-market appeal in 2025-2026 timeframes. If Samsung can deliver sufficiently advanced and reliable foldable experiences at lower price points over the next 1-2 years, the stage is set for the flexible form factor to go from niche to normal.
|Foldables surpass 10 million units shipped globally
|Sub-$999 foldable phone from Samsung
|Foldables make up over 15% of Samsung’s total phone shipment volume
|Multiple foldable devices under $700 launching
Samsung has earned a reputation for driving innovation in the mobile display market, and their curtain-raising foldable and curved screen demos at CES 2024 already have rivals scrambling to catch up. With every refinement to durability, usability and pricing, the company brings its foldable vision closer to fruition – paving the way for devices that will redefine our fundamental expectations of phones, tablets and everything between.
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