Samsung obtained recently a patent for a foldable smartphone which gave us some important clues regarding how the company is willing to approach the market through this technology. The display division of the South Korean company already managed to carry Samsung to the top of the market in quite a few of notable areas, still, the manufacturer didn’t mind the speculation that began to form around it regarding the news that a flexible display is on the way.
Through an earnings statement released in January, Samsung revealed its plans for 2018 which included reinforcing its capabilities for new purposes, such as a foldable display. According to a report which was released in the same month, volume production would begin during this year. The apparent codename of the device is ‘Winner’.
When you look at the aforementioned patent you can see that the main concern seems to be controlling a flexible device through secure ways. Also, the device seems to resemble a bendy, hinged Gemini (or Psion) and it is described as the best way of realizing the invention. The patent describes it as “…a flexible display that has a foldable deformable part; a housing that is foldable and forms an enclosure when the flexible display is deformed…”. The design consists of a ‘deformable part’ and a part that maintains its shape, which may or may not be flexible.
It seems that so far the purpose is to allow this device to be put away when it is not used while not taking up much space. Since Clamshell phones are gone, Samsung will have a difficult job in persuading the potential buyer that the form factor benefit will outweigh the hassle of unfolding it, although, in the end, we just have to wait and see.