South Korean Electronics company Samsung was granted a patent for a new foldable smartphone design. The patent reveals the phone folding outwards instead of inwards like the already announced, and postponed Galaxy Fold.
Back on February 20 of this year, Samsung announced the first Galaxy Fold along with it's Galaxy s10 lineup. The bendable smartphone certainly gained lots of attention as it was the first folding phone that would be available to purchase.
This brand new patent reveals that Samsung has plans to create a new Galaxy Fold design. This new design shows a flexible display that can be in both folded and unfolded positions, just like the original Fold. That's mostly where the similarities end.
The new design shows the phone having a case around it. One part of the case supporting each side of the crease, or point of folding. There also appears to be a piece that connects the two sections together that will likely have a lock mechanism to keep the phone from folding back when flat and unfolded.
The lock mechanism might also have a sliding cover that connects to both sides of the device, as well as a locking lever to keep the sliding cover in a locked position when needed. There will likely be rail grooves where the sliding cover transitions from one side of the display to the other when the phone is being maneuvered from folded to unfolded. It is important to note that this design would prohibit the device from folding if the sliding rail was blocked.
This patent is not the first the world has seen of an outward folding smartphone. The Huawei Mate X features an outward folding display with its own version of a locking mechanism to hold positions. Samsung originally filed its fold-out patent in Korea in 2015 and in the U.S. in Q3 of 2018.
It isn't clear as to how much inspiration Samsung took from Huawei, but it is clear that this patent comes at an opportune time for Samsung. Upon the Galaxy Fold receiving feedback of errors and defects, Samsung postponed the official launch of the device and is reportedly fixing the design and issues. The initial problems included debris entering the hinge, a display film peeling up and destroying the display, and a few cases where the screen blacked out for no apparent reason.
It's safe to say that Samsung has its hands full with ridding the Fold of all issues and some don't believe the company has achieved that in such a short time.
This new patent comes to Samsung amidst all of the Galaxy Fold drama. It's likely that this new design is still a long ways off and Samsung still plans to release the "fixed" Galaxy Fold when it's ready. With all the history that Samsung has in the foldable smartphone division, it's clear it will have a major impact on how folding displays enter the marketplace and ultimately consumers' lives. This new design shows that Samsung has plans for foldable phones in the future and doesn't plan on giving up yet.