Apparently, it’s not enough for a phone to just fold once. According to a new report by Nikkei Asia, Samsung is planning to add a third folding phone to its lineup this year– one that has two folds in its screen.
The phone will apparently live alongside the existing Fold and Flip series, rather than replace one of them. According to the report, the purpose of the triptych design is to enable a more mainstream 16:9 or 2:1 (sometimes unnecessarily called 18:9) aspect ratio when the device is unfolded. The existing Galaxy Fold has a 4:3 aspect ratio when unfolded, while the Galaxy Flip comes in at 21:9.
The more mainstream aspect ratio would far better fit the plethora of 16:9 movies and TV shows, while 2:1 has rapidly become more popular the last few years, often seen with Netflix original content. It would also be easier for apps and games to scale to the more traditional aspect ratio. It is worth noting though that Samsung isn’t the first to have thought up this three-part design; TCL gets to claim dibs on the concept, although that phone hasn’t gone on sale yet.
It’s hard to understand why exactly Samsung would need three separate folding phones, especially when many consumers have reservations over the poor scratch resistance and high price of entry — the Fold 2 already retails for $1,999. But according to Nikkei Asia, the move is part of Samsung’s plan to replace the Note line with folding devices; in recent years, it’s become increasingly difficult to tell apart the S line and Note line, especially now that the S20 Ultra supports the S-Pen.
Samsung hopes to increase folding phone sales to those similar to the Note line, which sold over 10 million units annually. Whether that’ll be possible given the current caveats of folding devices remains to be seen — hopefully the new design will mean a price reduction for the rest of Samsung’s folding lineup.
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