Samsung plans to bring a foldable smartphone codenamed “Winner” to market in late 2019, the company’s third flagship phone behind the Galaxy S9 Galaxy Note S9, according to reporting by the Wall Street Journal.
A foldable phone initiative codenamed Project Valley has been anticipated from Samsung since 2015.
With a seven-inch screen, the foldable phone will be a true smablet (smartphone-tablet), larger than other high-end phones like the iPhone X (5.8 inches) and Pixel 2 XL (6 inches).
A foldable screen may be the biggest smartphone form factor evolution since Samsung introduced rounded OLED displays, but at or above $1,500 would be much more expensive than other high-end smartphones, sources familiar with the matter said.
Also due out soon is the first smart speaker with Bixby inside, which may be released within the next month, potentially in tandem with the Galaxy Note S9, which is scheduled for release August 9.
The speaker is expected to retail for $300 and, unlike other mostly cylindrical smart speakers, is expected to be bowl shaped. Nicknamed “Lex,” the speaker will stand on legs and interact with AI assistant Bixby. The speaker is expected to be able to respond to voice commands by optimizing sound in a specific direction, similar to Apple’s HomePod or the Google Home Max.
Harman International, which Samsung owns, has smart speakers that can speak with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Cortana.
Lex is also expected to be pitched to consumers as great for music, something that may be necessary to justify a price point equal to 3 Echo speakers or 6 Echo Dots.
The next version of Bixby, with enhanced understanding of people, is also due out later this year.
Though companies like Amazon and Google may have already sold tens of millions of Echo and Home devices, worldwide smart speaker adoption is expected to increase six times by 2022, a recent study found.