Sony secretly plans roll-up smartphone to rival Samsung Galaxy Fold, leak hints

A release date for the foldable rival could be as early as this year

Sony smartphones on display at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on 28 February, 2019
Sony smartphones on display at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on 28 February, 2019

Sony is working on a new smartphone that features a roll-up screen, according to a leak.

The Japanese electronics giant has already built a prototype for the rollable handset, according to serial leaker Max J.

The device will feature similar specs to other high-end smartphones, including a Snapdragon 855 processor, a 3,220mAh battery and a 10x zoom camera.

The screen would be supplied by LG, which has already demonstrated its ability to build displays that roll up with its Signature OLED TV R television.

The latest rumour hints that Sony could launch the innovative device before the end of the year.

Patent applications published late last year revealed Sony's interest in developing a "dual-sided transparent smartphone", as well as a "foldable transparent smartphone".

One of the concepts for the transparent smartphone was for a screen that rolled up horizontally.

The brand new form factor comes as leading smartphone manufacturers Samsung and Huawei struggle to deliver their own foldable phones to the market in the form of the Galaxy Fold and Mate X.

Both firms have delayed shipping of their next-generation devices following issues with the folding mechanism, with neither willing to publicly commit to a release date until the problems are addressed.

Despite the delays, Samsung Electronics CEO DJ Koh believes folding screens could represent the future of smartphones.

The Galaxy Fold and Mate X both come with premium price tags in the region of $2,000, and this will likely transfer to Sony's folding phone.

Whether they are foldable or rollable, both designs would significantly improve the portability of screens, making it easier to carry tablet-sized devices in a pocket.

More details about Sony's rollable phone could be revealed at the IFA 2019 tradeshow in Berlin in September.

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