More Samsung foldable phone rumors: The first one may arrive in 2017

Samsung foldable phone rumors might be forming a bit more solidity. As originally reported by the South Korea-based Electronic Times and spotted by Android Headlines, the company is developing a pair of foldable dual-screen phones for possible release next year. The company seems eager to move beyond traditional handset designs—and perhaps away from products associated with exploding batteries. 

Like the curved Galaxy Round and the original Note 4 Edge, Samsung apparently won’t be mass-producing these phones at the start. Rather, the company will release limited editions to gauge interest before making a bigger commitment.

The foldable phone has been through years of prototypes from Samsung, Lenovo, and a few other manufacturers. Back in 2014 a Samsung concept video demonstrated a flexible OLED tablet that folded like a book, with the main screen on the inside when shut. Similarly, a Samsung patent emerged last month illustrating a device that folds in on itself and needs to open for use. However, the Electronic Times report claims that one of the two new Samsung phones will bend “outwardly” to allow the user to operate it when folded. It’s unclear from the report whether these phones would run Android, Tizen or some other OS.

Why this matters: Rumors are always fun—especially in the weeks leading up to CES—but when it comes to Samsung they’re particularly interesting. As the company continues to work its way out of the Note 7 mess, it will need to re-energize its mobile products, and there’s no better way to do that than by aggressively innovating. Of course, any new product will also need to have a non-exploding battery.

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