Samsung looks set to expand its Galaxy Z series with an even more radical concept than its existing foldable smartphones. Following in the footsteps of the Oppo x 2021, Samsung is pegged to bolster its lineup with a rollable smartphone.
The Korean tech giant has just unveiled a number of futuristic prototype devices as part of a Display Week exhibition which echoes some of the patents previously spotted for foldable and rollable gadgets. While Samsung Display's showcase isn't necessarily indicative of the smartphone arm's intention, a new trademark application (opens in new tab) filed with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) hints at what might be in store.
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The trademark (via LetsGoDigital (opens in new tab)) is for something called "Z Roll". Samsung's foldable devices fall under the Z series, with the Galaxy Z Flip and Galaxy Z Fold 2 ready to be joined by the upcoming Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 3. The description indicates that the device in question is a smartphone, and what's more, it also suggests S Pen compatibility.
Samsung's current foldables don't offer support for the stylus, but the upcoming Galaxy Z Fold 3 is rumored to be compatible with the S Pen. With Samsung possibly ditching the Galaxy Note series, and expanding stylus support to the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy S21 Ultra, it makes sense that it's looking to include S Pen support straight off the bat.
Samsung tipster Ice Universe (opens in new tab) stated that a "Galaxy Z Fold Scroll" was on the way back in November. A number of leakers have been saying that a third device will join the Z series, and the Galaxy Scroll looks like it might be the one.
LetsGoDigital doesn't think we'll see the Galaxy Z Roll unveiled alongside the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 3 at Samsung's August Unpacked event, but the company may give fans a hint at what it's cooking up. The website says we shouldn't expect to see the rollable hit the market until next year, which might still make it the first one to market with a working rollable smartphone.
Oppo too is working on a rollable, but isn't releasing its Oppo x 2021 any time soon. TCL also has a rollable smartphone concept, although it may struggle to get people interested. Unlike Oppo and Samsung, which take the candybar form factor and expand it into a tablet, TCL's device starts off as a half-sized handset that extends vertically to a 'normal' smartphone size. Given that the tech will undoubtedly come with a hefty price tag, this seems like a hard sell.
We'll have to wait until next year to see who'll win the rollable race, but all signs point to Samsung so far.
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