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Samsung Gets Patent for Phone Case Hiding S-Pen Stylus

January 15, 2016 - Written By Tom Dawson

Since 2011, the S-Pen stylus has been a main feature of Samsung’s larger-than-life Galaxy Note line of smartphones, and it’s gotten better over time. Last year’s Galaxy Note 5 introduced some new features that rely on the S-Pen, but at the same time people were a little confused and disappointed that the stylus itself had to be replaced in a certain way. Of course, once users were used to this it wasn’t a problem at all, but Samsung being Samsung it looks like they’ve thought of a way to take the S-Pen outside of the body of the phone itself, perhaps leading the way to adding the pen to other devices outside of the Galaxy Note line.

The South Korean giant has been granted a patent in their domestic market to include the S-Pen inside of a smartphone cover. Whether or not this is an accessory to be offered to other Samsung devices outside of the Galaxy Note range is unclear, but it’s an interesting patent nonetheless. Traditionally, Galaxy Note devices have featured a special type of digitizer in the touchscreen to receive input from the S-Pen, using technology licensed from Wacom. Having said that, Samsung has launched styli that would work with Galaxy S devices and no others with products like the C-Pen some years ago. Due to this special digitizer inside of the Galaxy Note, it’s unlikely the S-Pen will come to the Galaxy S or other Samsung smartphones.

So, what could this patent be all about? Well, it’s more likely that Samsung is planning to launch even thinner Galaxy Note smartphones in the next few years, and might not have room for the S-Pen inside of the device itself. After all, that’s quite a bit of room to give up for a stylus inside of a device packed full of chips and a big battery. This could also lead to the S-Pen being an optional extra and reduce the base cost of the Galaxy Note. Perhaps we’ll see something similar to this smartphone cover launch later this year with the Galaxy Note 6, but we’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, interested folk can take a look at the pictures from South Korean patent application 30-2015-0011451(M001).