Foldable smartphones are still in its nascent form and Samsung is prepping to bring one in the smartphone world. A patent application that emerged recently, reveals a flexible display device that folds in the middle.
The designs of the foldable smartphone were disclosed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on January 31 this year. Samsung, however filed a patent application titled “Electronic Device with Flexible Display” with USPTO on June 9, 2015. The application under the patent number US 9,557,771 B2 described a device with an inward folding display that is supported by a mechanical hinge in the middle.
According to the latest reports, Samsung is said to reveal a prototype of the expected foldable smartphone at MWC later this month. The report comes from South Korean publication ‘ET News’ that suggest Samsung will unveil the foldable smartphone in private to ‘invited customers’.
Another report from Taiwan’s handset supply chain tipped that the Samsung will begin small production of its foldable smartphone featuring a flexible AMOLED display in the fourth quarter of 2017. The source also pins out Apple, Microsoft and LG Electronics to have filed applications for comparable patents with the USPTO. The source however cited that the Samsung’s plausible foldable smartphone mass production won’t hit until the mid of 2018. The reason being the technical issue that involve the production and reliability of the PI (polyimide) based plastic cover, a major component required for foldable smartphones production.
This is not the first time that the foldable display technology concept has surfaced. Samsung back in March 2015 was rumoured to work on a curved smartphone with a bendable display. Last year, the Korea Herald said that a foldable smartphone dubbed as the Galaxy X will be announced at the third quarter of 2017. Early this month, a separate report from the same source said that Samsung and LG might launch foldable smartphones this year.
As Samsung has confirmed the delay in unwrapping its next flagship Galaxy S8, the company might bring something else instead on it at the mobile trade show. Samsung gave hint of a tab in its press invite suggesting the launch of the Galaxy Tab 3.