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Samsung applies for patent on bendable phone

A recent patent application from Samsung shows a smartphone that can fold over itself. (Source: Samsung patent)
A recent patent application from Samsung shows a smartphone that can fold over itself. (Source: Samsung patent)
A recent patent application filed by Samsung in April shows a smartphone with a bendable screen, allowing the device to be folded over itself. This patent may be related to rumors that Samsung is developing devices with bendable OLED displays.

Smartphone manufacturer Samsung is well known for driving innovation in mobile technology. Their Galaxy and Note lines of smartphones consistently display new technologies, from processing speeds and camera quality to more gimmicky innovations like eye movement controlled navigation. The Korean company looks to continue pushing the envelope with a recently discovered patent application.

The Dutch website Galaxy Club found the patent, which was filed in Korea last April. The document details a new smartphone that is able to fold in half. While clamshell phones have been around since the mid-1990’s (and still exist today), this patent is for something entirely different. The device has what appears to be some kind of hinge or folding mechanism in the middle of a long screen, allowing the display to bend and the device to fold in half. The patent also makes reference to a secondary display which will apparently activate once the device is folded over, allowing for use of the phone in its folded form.

Rumors that Samsung was working on devices with flexible OLED screens surfaced earlier this year, and this patent lends credence to those speculations. The display technology has been in development for a while; Samsung showed off working prototypes of flexible and bendable OLED displays back at CES in January 2013. However, we have yet to see the display integrated into a full-fledged smartphone. Lenovo had a prototype of a “wrist-wearable” smartphone this past June, but the device seemed to still be in the concept phase. 

If released, the device shown in the patent could be a huge win for Samsung, who is still reeling from troubles with faulty products. Samsung’s brand image has been badly damaged by the now-cancelled Note 7’s combusting battery fiasco and a recent recall on over 2.8 million top-loading washing machines that would come unbalanced, causing the lid to violently pop off the units. We’ll have to wait and see when and if Samsung will bring bendable smartphones to the market, but it wouldn’t be unlike the forward-thinking tech giant to do so.

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Patent documents show typical Samsung features, such as the logo and home button, in addition to the folding mechanism. (Source: Samsung patent)
Patent documents show typical Samsung features, such as the logo and home button, in addition to the folding mechanism. (Source: Samsung patent)

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2016 11 > Samsung applies for patent on bendable phone
Sam Medley, 2016-11-10 (Update: 2016-11-10)
Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Review Editor - @samuel_medley
I've been a "tech-head" my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a Systems Analyst for my local school district. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news articles and notebook reviews. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not hunched over an electronic device or writing code for a new database, I'm either outside with my family, playing a decade-old video game, or sitting behind a drum set.