Forward-looking: Since the original Galaxy Fold's disastrous launch, folding phones have vastly improved. The Samsung Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 are proving so popular that the Korean firm has plans for a new device in the same category: a double-hinged handset with three separate displays.
LetsGoDigital spotted a recently awarded Samsung patent that describes a double-folding phone. The device closes in a Z shape, much like the dual-hinged prototype that TCL showed off in 2019, meaning one of the three main displays doubles as an outer screen with the phone is closed.
That outer display has an in-screen fingerprint sensor, while the rear features a triple-camera setup. It also comes with a USB connector and even an HDMI port. The patent shows how only the front and rear parts contain important internal components, such as the batteries.
This isn't the first time we've heard about Samsung planning to add a third screen to a foldable. Tipster Yogesh claimed in April that such a device with improved Ultra-thin glass was in the works. There was also another patent with a different design, and Samsung showed off an early prototype in August.
While folding devices are essentially both phones and tablets in one, those with three screens appear even more slate-like when fully opened. There are certainly some questions over their practicality---expect them to be pretty chunky when closed---and durability.
But it seems that consumers have an appetite for phones that transform into tablet-like devices, so we could be looking at the future of the mobile industry. It'll be interesting to see how rollable phones fit into all this; we recently saw a patent that's both a folding and a rollable device.