(Pocket-lint) - We've been hearing rumours for nearly two years now that Samsung will one day introduce a smartphone with a foldable screen. It's currently being called the Galaxy X and became topic of conversation in March 2015, when some industry analysts thought the Galaxy S7 would be the first to have a foldable screen.
Fresh rumours have now surfaced to suggest the Galaxy X is real and will be released in either Q3 or Q4 2017, along with the suggestion that the phone will fold out and transform into a 7-inch tablet.
The rumours come from a report from The Korea Herald, but before you think the idea of a transforming smartphone is crazy, it's not the first time we've heard the rumour. Bloomberg claimed in June 2016 that the Galaxy X would be a 5-inch smartphone that could morph into an 8-inch tablet, and even said it would arrive in 2017.
The Korea Herald cites "sources familiar with the matter" as saying Samsung has ordered 100,000 units of the foldable smartphone in the third quarter of this year. The report says the Galaxy X will have display panels that fold outwards to become a tablet, after experimenting with smartphones that fold into the screen. Samsung has apparently concluded that users "may find it inconvenient to unfold the phones every time they want to use them".
If Samsung does indeed produce a phone with a foldable screen, it would likely use an OLED display. The company has previously shown off a prototype screen that is able to roll-out like a scroll, so producing a flexible screen that could fold instead shouldn't be too much of a problem.
While the report does seem pretty confident about the claims of a Q3 launch, it does say Samsung does still need to make a final decision about whether to release it this year because of "marketability and profitability issues". The Korea Herald's sources added: "The final decision will be made after the personnel reshuffle of the company’s information technology and mobile communications unit is carried out”.