Samsung’s first foldable smartphone is confirmed to launch in the first half of the year, and the handset won’t have that many rivals, as other vendors are yet to unveil their own foldable devices.
But just because Samsung may not have that many competitors at first won’t guarantee the success of the Galaxy F, which is what we’re calling the device for the time being. Samsung’s biggest worry when it comes to foldable phone sales might not be related to the phone’s sky-high price or regular competitors from the mobile business.
There may be a more significant threat to Samsung’s success, and it could come from an unexpected company.
For years now we’ve been hearing that Microsoft is still working on a foldable “Surface Phone” type device that would run a version of Windows 10 in a new form factor for the Surface series. But those reports have increased in the past few months, and The Verge now says that Microsoft is indeed working on adapting Windows for foldable devices:
Sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans tell The Verge that the software maker is making foldable devices and dual-screen hardware a big investment area for both Windows and Surface. This investment includes adapting Windows itself and its many built-in apps to work across foldable displays and devices with dual screens.
Previous reports told us that Microsoft is still working on its dual-screen hardware, codenamed Andromeda, and that other OEMs may develop Surface Phone-like hardware in the near future. But a new leak from earlier this week revealed that Microsoft has a team working on Windows for foldable devices.
As it is right now, Microsoft doesn’t have a mobile operating system. But Windows 10 is touch-friendly, and by making it work on foldable devices that could incorporate support for always-on 4G or 5G connectivity, Microsoft may get back into the mobile OS business.
For more than a year now, we’ve seen Windows laptop makers come up with more portable laptop versions built on components that were previously used to power Android smartphones and laptops.
Those devices feature longer battery life, slimmer designs, and always-on connectivity. In other words, these devices could naturally evolve into foldable laptops. And adding phone features to highly portable, maybe even pocketable Windows 10 devices would make plenty of sense. More