Mobile Communications

Samsung's foldable phone patent moves a big step beyond curved models

If there was a sleeper trend for mobile devices in 2016 it would have to be the notion of bendable mobile devices, and it appears Samsung wants in on this trend. SamMobile recently came across a Samsung Korean-language patent showing a phone that folds in half. The Samsung-focused site believes these patent drawing could be evidence of the rumored Galaxy X smartphone.

A patent drawing for Samsung’s bendable phone.

Samsung already has phones with curved screens, like the Galaxy S6 Edge (pictured above). A fully bendable phone, however, is a big step forward. 

Based on the drawings, the phone is just a standard candy bar-style smartphone that can fold in half. When folded, the phone in the drawings looks like it has a hinge similar to the Microsoft Surface Book's. Whether a real phone would actually have that design—or if it would even be practical to put a folded phone in your pocket—is far from clear.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about a bendy Samsung phone. In June, Bloomberg said Samsung planned two bendable phones for 2017. At least one of those phones was said to have the ability to fold in half.

The story behind the story: Regardless of what Samsung does, phones that bend (intentionally) are on their way. During the Consumer Electronics Show in January, LG showed off a flexible OLED screen that could be rolled up. Analysts at Morgan Stanley predicted that these displays would land on handsets within two years.

Melissa Riofrio

Lenovo showed off a CPlus foldable smartphone prototype at Lenovo World in June, 2016. It can be held flat or worn as a cuff around your wrist.

Then in June, we got a look at Lenovo’s prototype CPlus wrist-wrap phone, which looks like it came straight out of a Microsoft concept video. Lenovo also showed a Folio tablet prototype that folded in half like a book.

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