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Samsung Elec shows off new design for square-folding phone

Credit: REUTERS/JORGE DUENES

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd has unveiled a new design for a smartphone that folds into a square, racing ahead in folding devices after it launched its first model in September.

SEOUL, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd 005930.KS has unveiled a new design for a smartphone that folds into a square, racing ahead in folding devices after it launched its first model in September.

The South Korean tech giant teased the new concept on Tuesday at the Samsung Developer Conference 2019 in the United States.

"The amazing thing with the foldable technology is that it can also become more compact like this," said Sally Hyesoon Jeong, head of Framework R&D Group at Samsung's mobile communications, showing the mock-up on a screen behind her.

"Incredible, right?" Jeong said, followed by applause from the floor.

The world's largest smartphone maker is powering ahead with the launch of 5G phones and $2,000 foldable handsets as it battles rivals Apple Inc AAPL.O and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd HWT.UL in an increasingly saturated market.

Its new design enables the device to fold in half horizontally.

"This brand new form factor we are now exploring not only easily fits in your pocket but it also changes the way you use the phone," Jeong said.

China's Huawei started taking orders last week in China for its eagerly awaited foldable smartphone, hoping to make up for weak overseas sales amid U.S. trade sanctions.

Samsung did not provide details about when the square-folding phone would be launched.

"While we can't comment on future products, Samsung is committed to pioneering the foldable category, including investing in the development of new form factors," Samsung said in a statement to Reuters.

(Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by Stephen Coates)

((ju-min.park@thomsonreuters.com; +82 2 3704 5650; Reuters Messaging: ju-min.park.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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