Keen to make its foldable smartphone the next big thing, Samsung Electronics will depart from its usual policy of keeping product plans highly secret and provide some details of the phone's key features for app developers this week.
The goal is garnering critical feedback as new technologies will require developers to tweak apps to make sure they run smoothly when the phone folds out into tablet form.
Samsung needs to get the foldable phone right - hoping it will reverse steep declines in profit for its mobile division and restore some of the premium cachet its brand has lost to Apple.
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The move also underscores a new level of caution in product planning after a costly recall for its fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 in 2016.
"Unlike our flagship products, the foldable phone is a completely new concept in terms of design and user experience, which requires a different approach," said a Samsung official. "Before we take it to the market, we want to share with developers what we've done so far and see what they think of it," the official said.
Foldable phones hold the promise of allowing consumers to do more complex work that would normally be done on a tablet or laptop, but with a device that becomes far more compact.
The South Korean tech giant is among a handful of firms which have flagged that foldable phones will be coming to market soon. Although it has so far been mum on exactly when, analysts expect a launch date in the first half of 2019 - any later and Samsung would run the risk of new Apple phones stealing its thunder.
China's Huawei Technologies has also said it is planning to launch a 5G smartphone with a foldable screen in mid-2019.
Both, however, have been pipped to the post by Royole, a Chinese display making start-up, which last week unveiled a foldable phone with a 7.8 inch screen, priced from around $1,300. It said it will start filling orders from late December, although little is known about the firm's projected sales.
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