It’s already starting to look like rollable phones are the next big thing, potentially usurping foldables before they even get much traction. And it looks like Samsung, the unquestioned foldable king, is getting on board.
While we haven’t heard much about a Samsung rollable beyond pure speculation, a new patent has emerged proving Samsung has put some consideration into the idea.
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LetsGoDigital (opens in new tab) discovered the patent, which was filed in March 2020, and suggests this is something Samsung has had mulling over for quite some time. And it makes sense that it would, because a rollable is the next logical step forward from foldables.
The company has gone all in on foldable phones in recent years, to the point where it’s reportedly positioning the Galaxy Z Fold 3 as a replacement for the outgoing Galaxy Note range. But foldables have their issues, especially with their temperamental hinges and screens that tend to crease.
While there will no doubt be issues with rollables, the rolling screen mechanisms should, in theory, prevent any prominent creasing at any individual point.
Samsung rollable phone: From 6 to 8 inches
Samsung’s patent shows off a regular-sized 6-inch smartphone that extends into an 8-inch tablet, though the most-interesting part is that it’s a “dual-slide smartphone” with flexible material at the front and back of the phone’s body.
The front panel is pretty simple, and features the extending flexible display we’ve come to recognize from other rollable phone makers like LG. The back is a little different, and it sounds like Samsung is keeping its options open. The patent mentions the possibility of a second flexible display or the inclusion of other flexible materials like metal film, fabric, or leather.
Frankly, that sounds like a good idea if it will work properly, since nobody wants to extend their phone and potentially expose its innards to the outside world. That’s one of the reasons why the original Galaxy Fold was delayed. It also presumably means the exterior design doesn’t change, no matter what position the phone is in.
Sadly, patents are no guarantee of anything, and there’s no telling if or when Samsung’s rollable would be released. It certainly wouldn’t be arriving for a while, seeing as how rollables are still in their infancy. The only model on the immediate horizon could be the LG Rollable, which was promised to arrive this year. However, now that LG is contemplating exiting the phone business altogether, its rollable may never see the light of day.
In the meantime, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z FlIp 3 are expected to arrive later this year.