Just a day after reports emerged about Microsoft looking at resurrecting its Courier hardware as a full-fledged foldable note-taking device, rival Samsung is also making news for its latest patent which hints at an all-new folding concept smartphone. Also Read - Best battery smartphones under Rs 15,000: Redmi Note 10T, Realme Narzo 30 and moreAlso Read - Upcoming phone launches to expect in August 2021: Redmi 10, iQOO 8, Realme GT, Samsung Galaxy A52s, more
Samsung is already known for building flexible displays, however, those have been limited to TVs and curved edge phones. The new patent suggests that it will be possible for the company to build a bendable phone that could be a true successor to the ‘spilling edges’ trend. Also Read - Top 5G smartphones under Rs 20,000 in August 2021: Samsung A22 5G, Redmi Note 10T, etc
The patent application, filed with the Korean Intellectual Property Office, includes sketches of what is called as a ‘flexible electronic device’. The purported device is described as one having two rigid housings paired with a multi-joint hinge in the middle. The device would close with a magnetic force with the screen facing inwards, akin to what could be a full-screen flip phone, ZDNet reports. ALSO READ: Samsung s foldable smartphone to launch next year under Galaxy Note series
Now, the caveat with a hinge design is that there are ‘teeth’ on the rear side of the phone, which becomes prone to dirt and other objects falling inside. What Samsung is aiming at is a flat surface which improves upon aesthetics as well as functionality. The idea is to retain the flexibility of the display as well as foldability of the device. The sketches suggest that the fold is placed in the middle of the device. But Samsung says that the bend could be placed anywhere on the frame, even at multiple locations. Such a concept, if applied to televisions, could mean a future device which could be folded multiple times to be converted into even a pocketable entity.
Samsung says the concept design could be applied to any electronic device which uses hinge as part of its functionality. Now, this could include a phone, a head-mounted display, vacuum cleaner, and also medical devices. Essentially, the company is looking at applications of the patent beyond the smartphone segment. ALSO READ: Apple partners with LG Display for its first foldable iPhone: Report
Although the concept design opens up the floodgates for innovation across product categories, it is hard for developers to overcome component challenges as not all elements can be produced in a flexible or foldable format. If indeed a successful hardware is readied for production, scaling issues are certain to crop up.
Meanwhile, Samsung is looking at launching a foldable Galaxy Note phone in the coming year. However, a wider release and mass production will only happen when it is truly ready for the market.