Forward-looking: It’s become evident that Samsung is the biggest proponent of foldable phones, as well as the only company that’s been able to sell them in any significant quantities. The South Korean electronics giant is still improving on the original Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Flip designs, but behind the scenes it’s also exploring new form factors like a phone with a sideways foldable upper half.
When it isn’t busy battling ransomware gangs, lower-than-expected chip manufacturing yields, and blowback from fans for throttling the chipsets on Galaxy phones, Samsung is trying to delineate more quirky concepts for foldable phones.
According to a patent uncovered by Let's Go Digital, the tech giant envisions a new kind of foldable phone that would have a sideways wrap-around screen. The patent was filed in 2021 with the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO), and describes a device that is L-shaped when unfolded, with the top half of the screen protruding to the side.
When folded, the device looks almost like a regular Galaxy S phone, and the patent seems to suggest the screen may also be active when folded to the back of the device.
Like with the LG Wing — which is admittedly a dual-screen swivel phone — the idea behind Samsung’s hypothetical device is that you can use its oddly-shaped screen to multi-task.
The patent suggests a scenario where you may be on a Zoom or Teams call and need to interact with a calendar app or access something from cloud storage at the same time. Instead of the picture-in-picture functionality offered by apps like Telegram, Skype, or YouTube, you would use the protruding portion of the display instead of having a floating window covering something on the main portion of the display that needs to be constantly moved around.
The screen would utilize the same Ultra Thin Glass (UTG) that Samsung employs on the successful Galaxy Z Flip3 and Galaxy Z Fold3, and a special hinge with three magnets would prevent the folding portion of the display from detaching accidentally.
Samsung may also never release such a device, but it’s still an interesting concept, just like the Westworld-esque Galaxy Fold concept the company showed off at the IMID expo last year.
Masthead credit: Let's Go Digital