By Madison Alworth
Samsung revealed this week that, by the end of 2018, the company will unveil its first flexible and foldable smartphone screen. But this is a promise Samsung Mobile CEO DJ Koh has been making for years, and many are skeptical that he'll actually deliver, said lead mobile analyst at PC Mag Sascha Segan.
"He was talking about this a year and a half ago. I feel like this is DJ Koh's white whale," Segan said Tuesday in an interview on Cheddar.
But Segan, despite his doubts, still understands why the mobile giant is pursuing the strategy so aggressively.
"This is the transformation in a phone's form factor that finally makes Samsung products different and more innovative than every other black slab on the market," he said.
Cell phone distributors are looking for compelling reasons to get consumers in the door. It has been a dull year for cell phone sales as replacement cycles get longer and consumers continue to hold out for 5G. Samsung has felt the slide. Sales in Q2 were down 4 percent from a year ago, and Samsung cited "softer sales of smartphones" as a major cause of the slump.
Samsung is hoping foldable displays are the solution to its sales problem. After all, they do seem to fit consumer demands, Segan said.
"They want bigger screens but not bigger phones, because their hands aren't getting any bigger," he said.
If Samsung is able to succeed in its efforts, it could get a leg up on competition.
"If they can perfect foldable screens first, that makes it clear that everyone else is going to need to go to Samsung when they want the best displays," Segan said.
For full interview click here.