Foldable smartphones have yet to become mainstream but the industry is already gearing up for what’s to come. Developments in recent years suggest rollable or slidable smartphones are the next. Several companies have showcased or patented such smartphone designs where the device expands to reveal additional screen real estate. Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker, could be once again at the forefront of this revolution. There have been many indications that the Korean giant has such a product in the pipeline. While it may not be market-ready anytime soon, some folks have visioned what it could look like.
All-things-Samsung publication SamMobile worked with well-known concept creator Jermaine Smit to create a rollable Samsung smartphone concept. The design is based on a 2020 patent application from the company.
As you can see in the images below (and above), the device has a screen covering most of its body. A portion of the display panel is wrapped on the back. In its compact form, the handset will work as a regular smartphone. But if you want a larger display, you can trigger it to expand. At this point, the additional screen wrapped on the back would roll out for a large continuous display.
When expanded, the smartphone essentially converts into a mini tablet. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold lineup serves a similar purpose too. You can use it as a regular smartphone or unfold it for a compact tablet-sized screen. The advantage that rollable smartphones have is that they are less thick than Fold-series foldables. Moreover, these devices also eliminate the display crease that foldables have along the fold line.
Rollable smartphones may still be a few years away
It’s been three years since foldable smartphones came into existence. Samsung has been leading this niche market and is gearing up to launch its fourth-gen foldables soon. Several other brands are also starting to enter the market. Simultaneously, these companies are also working on phones with slidable or rollable screens.
However, this tech may not be ready for prime time for at least a few more years. Every year, we see hundreds of patent applications from various companies but very eventually see the light of day. So these rollable or slidable smartphone design patents may not necessarily indicate that such devices are arriving anytime soon. They may someday, but there’s no concrete timeframe yet. For the time being, check out the Samsung rollable smartphone concept in the images below.