Samsung began the year promising that we were going to see more foldable phones coming our way. A new rumor says the first of those foldables may be arriving sooner than we were expecting.
A Korean publication called Bloter reports that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 will ship in May. There's no sourcing on that report, but it stems from Samsung's earnings call this week to announce its quarterly performance.
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In that call, Bloter reports, the executive director of Samsung's wireless division said that updates to both the Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip phones were in the works. "We plan to strengthen the Galaxy Z Fold and Flip lineup this year," says Samsung's Seong-gu Kim in a translated version of the Bloter story.
If that May date is accurate, it would be an earlier-than-expected launch for the follow-up to the Galaxy Z Fold 2, which debuted in August last year. Likewise, this year's edition of the foldable phone was expected to ship in the second half of the year, either alongside or as a replacement for Samsung's Galaxy Note phablet.
The Bloter story mentions two noteworthy things about the Galaxy Z Fold 3. The new foldable phone could support the Galaxy S Pen — a rumor we've heard before that seems more likely now that the Galaxy S21 Ultra offers the same feature. The report also claims that the new model "can fold the display twice," which is a new one for us.
Most rumors seems to point to the next version of the Galaxy Fold maintaining its existing design where you open up the phone like a book to reveal a larger screen. However, concept designs based on Samsung patents for multi-folding devices leaked last year to show what a Galaxy Fold with a dual-hinge design might look like. It's unclear if that concept art actually reflects what Samsung's working on for its upcoming release or whether it's just a designer's flight of fancy.
Adding S Pen support would be a big enough change for the Galaxy Z Fold 3, as it would expand the usability of a device Samsung already touts as a productivity booster. We'd also expect the foldable to take advantage of the Snapdragon 888 processor that's now available and powering the Galaxy S21 family. It's possible the Galaxy Z Fold 3 could also be the first Samsung device to place a camera underneath the phone's display, eliminating the need for bezels, cutouts or — shudder — notches.
It sounds like we'll find out soon enough just how many changes Samsung is planning for the Galaxy Z Fold 3. May, after all, is just a few months away.