Samsung's foldable smartphone is said to be called the Galaxy X. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

A new report is claiming that Samsung is planning to start production of a its prototype foldable Android smartphone later this year. If the foldable smartphone prototype is received well, it’s possible that a consumer model could be made available in 2018.

Samsung Electronics and Samsung Display are said to be in the “final step of development” of the foldable smartphone and that production of its prototype will commence during the third quarter of 2017, according to Korean website ETNews. Sources claim that Samsung will be producing thousands of prototypes to gauge the product’s quality.

Samsung Foldable Smartphone
Samsung's concept of its foldable Android smartphone. ETNews

Thanks to numerous patent filing in the last couple of years, we already know that Samsung has been working on a foldable smartphone. However, the company has never publicly revealed a functioning prototype.

Back in February during MWC 2017, it was rumored that Samsung actually demonstrated its foldable smartphone to a select number of its partners. Those who were able to see the prototype were reportedly asked to sign non-disclosure agreements, according to Slash Gear.

What’s a bit frustrating is that every year there are always reports of Samsung finally releasing a foldable smartphone. But this year, it does seem more realistic especially with what happened with the Galaxy Note 7 in 2016.

It would be logical for Samsung to keep pushing for innovative new products that can keep consumers and investors interested. A foldable smartphone could also be Samsung’s new premium mobile product possibly replacing the Galaxy Note line in the near future.

ETNews did say in its report that Samsung wants its new foldable devices to be “one-step higher than regular flagship smartphones” that will be able to offer “luxurious design and high-quality.” If Samsung is able to accomplish its goals, then it wouldn’t be too long before consumers can get it for themselves.

As for when we’ll be able to see one of Samsung’s foldable phone prototypes, speculations point to this year’s IFA exhibition in Berlin, Germany. IFA 2017 is scheduled to take place from Sept. 1 until Sept. 6.