As Apple fanatics babbled over the freshly announced $1,000 iPhone X on Tuesday (and bemoaned the iPhone 9 that never was), Samsung promised to introduce the world's first foldable smartphone in 2018.
Once the pinnacle of phone fashion (remember the Motorola RAZR?), flip phones sales started to flag about 10 years back -- around the time Apple unveiled the first iPhone.
Samsung's head of mobile Koh Dong-jin said the world's largest smartphone maker is "digging thoroughly into several issues" to sort out the tech hurdles they have to overcome, CNN reports.
IHS Markit analyst Just Hong said one challenge would be convincing smartphone application developers to tailor their products to folding screens.
"What makes smartphones smarter is applications, especially third-party applications," Hong said. "If you have a foldable phone but most of your applications are not supporting foldable features ... it would be meaningless."
CNN also notes a successful folding smartphone would be a big turnaround for Samsung, whose Note 7 phones famously burst into flames and prompted massive recalls.
The company's new Note 8 smartphone will appear on shelves on Friday, and Koh said they'd received about 650,000 pre-orders for the phone despite the fiery problems of its predecessor.