In short: Samsung may be pondering a return to two-piece smartphone cases, having recently moved to patent several such solutions, according to legal documentation reviewed by AndroidHeadlines. Compared to the first generation of its "2Piece" accessories, the new ones may be designed to integrate more tightly with the devices they're meant to protect, with one of the firm's concepts even envisioning a top part of a protective case that comes with a Hybrid SIM tray for two Nano SIM cards or a Nano-microSD combo. The manufacturer also experimented with triangular two-piece-case shapes, the documentation reveals.
Background: Samsung's 2Piece formula was short-lived, having been commercialized and promptly abandoned last year. The company's official cases based on such a design have only been released for the Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8 Plus, and the Galaxy Note 8 (pictured above). While the 2Piece series was among the most affordable protective cases offered by the South Korean tech giant, consumers complained about their lack of symmetry and the fact that their form factor affected the otherwise solid ergonomy of the firm's Android smartphones. While some third-party manufacturers still offer such accessories for the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 9 lines, Samsung itself gave no indication of planning to return to that concept. Regardless, the new designs stemming from the same idea have all been submitted to IP agencies over the course of the last year, with some of them only being finalized this year, suggesting Samsung may yet revive its 2Piece series.
Impact: The high profit margins associated with smartphone accessories are still pushing phone makers to continue pursuing such first-party gadgets. Due to their relatively low R&D costs, protective cases are often the subject of extreme experimentation, which is how the 2Piece lineup came to be in the first place. Whether Samsung returns to it or not remains to be seen but whatever happens, the Seoul-based electronics juggernaut is likely to continue delivering a diverse portfolio of first-party accessories for its Android flagships for the foreseeable future.