Samsung won a new design patent detailing a foldable smartphone earlier this week, with its submission being approved by the World Intellectual Property Organization on Thursday. The patent whose main sketches can be seen above describes a device that features a mechanical joint on its back and is effectively a new take on the concept of a flip phone which features a single screen capable of bending inward, though without the ability to have the two halves of the display perfectly flush with each other. As such, the design is similar to a number of inventions Samsung previously shared with various IP agencies around the world, though the smartphone it details doesn't appear to have a screen that's much more elongated than what the firm is currently offering. Instead of using a 21:9 aspect ratio, the newly patented handset appears to have been envisioned with a screen that's more similar to the 18.5:9 Infinity Display found on the company's existing devices, at least as far as its image format is concerned.
The South Korean original equipment manufacturer has been trying to commercialize a foldable phone for over half a decade now, yet the firm has been consistently running into durability and production yield issues, according to previous reports. Its first foldable device that may be launched as part of a new "Galaxy X" lineup as soon as this year, with the company recently confirming it's pursuing such a project and intends to commercialize it no later than 2019. While that timeline may end up being pushed back as was the case in previous years, Samsung's upcoming foldable device is still expected to debut in the near future given how the tech giant is now confident enough to publicly speak about such a creation for the first time ever.
Samsung's foldable smartphone is expected to be introduced as its third Android flagship alternative which will be sold and advertised simultaneously with the Galaxy Note and Galaxy S lineups, though previous reports suggested the latter may also be rebranded as the "Galaxy X" series starting next year with the successors to the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus. Huawei, OPPO, Sony, LG, Vivo, and ZTE are all believed to already be working on their own bendable smartphones, with ZTE even launching a rudimentary take on that concept last year in the form of the two-screen Axon M.