Samsung patent shows how upcoming foldable display device might look

Samsung has been working on perfecting their flexible AMOLED displays for what seems like forever, and we’ve been yearning for the day that they introduce the technology in an actual mobile product. We know they’re working on an interesting design with the Note 4′s rumored YOUM display that wraps around the edges of the device to show notifications and music controls, but they could be coming to town with something even more unique.

samsung foldable display device

The latest patent application from the USPTO — number US20140111954 – details a “foldable display device” that actually has a folding mechanism. Think of it as a make-up case with a hinge or folding your wallet — that’s how Samsung envisions their creation will work.

Flexible displays in smartphones are nothing new, with the LG G Flex being the most prominent example of that. The difference is that device has a flexible display for the purpose of being virtually indestructible — we haven’t yet seen a device designed to be folded away like a $20 bill.

This could open up some interesting design options for Samsung if they implement it as cleanly as these patents suggest they will. Imagine having both a tablet and a phablet in one device.

You’d get a single display on the outside when it’s folded, resembling a typical smartphone. Open it up for access to a 7-inch slate ready to go to work for you. Think of it as a more elegant, useful and practical solution to the “problem” the butt-ugly Kyocera Echo tried to solve a few years back. Sorry Sprint, but that thing was downright ridiculous.

That’s not exactly what Samsung is proposing with this patent application, but we imagine the possibility for it to evolve into such a project is high enough to explore. Beyond that, perhaps they just want to be able to deliver an ordinary phablet in a more compact form factor, something all you skinny jeans fans will no doubt love.

It’s not as if Samsung hasn’t been reported to be thinking about this before. In fact, recent rumors suggest they’ll be looking to introduce a device just like this as early as 2015, which is quite a long time from now in tech years.

Of course, we’ve been hearing about Samsung’s use of flexible displays since late 2011, and each year we expect to see one we’ve been massively disappointed. This time might be different, though, because they are no longer the only horses in the stable with this sort of tech ready for public consumption. Would you want a phone like this at some point down the line?

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  • Chimphappyhour

    I’m sure Samsung has been frothing at the mouth to get back into flip phones. Oh yay. More Samsung flips.

    • Sean Royce

      0/10.

    • HitokiriX

      They never stopped making flip phones… just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

  • O’s Fan91

    Nintendo DS without a hinge basically.

    • fourthletter

      Nope that design has a hinge. No bezel but plenty of hinge.

  • namesib

    As long as the mechanism is sturdy and the display doesn’t suffer, I’m looking forward to this.

  • Delmar

    if it is note 3 like and has note 3 like features, im in

  • steveb944

    I don’t see why there would be a need to even wait for flexible displays. All you need is a flip phone design with a screen on top and bottom, and a screen on the outside. The only issues are size due to the clamshell and so many screens adding thickness, oh and don’t forget battery life powering all those screens.

  • Dan

    I’d have more desire to have a 8″ tablet that can unfold into a 14″ display when I can prop it on a table or recline back in a chair.

  • Krzysztof Bryk

    out of quadrilion of samsung foldable patent WHY THIS ONE ????????????

  • np6s4x

    impatiently waiting for the flip phone that has a full flat screen when opened, yet the screen can be folded in half when not in use