Samsung has already shown its Infinity Flex display for the rumored upcoming Galaxy F. But a Samsung patent shows that the South Koreans company is already thinking about the next step, with a design for a folding phone with two detachable screens.
Spotted by Gizmochina, a newly published World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) update shows designs of a phone with two magnetically attached screens that can be used independently, filed with the Korean Intellectual Property Office in June 2018. Both halves are equally equipped, each holding its own processor and systems, although it does offer the question of how a single SIM card would work in a phone with two bodies.
The magnet system proposed in the patent is a lot more versatile than any sort of physically attached hinge. It allows for double-sided or full-size orientations, as we've seen in many previous folding phone designs. However, it can also support the screens facing in opposite directions, which it shows as useful for taking photos with a full-sized viewfinder.
You can also place the screens in a slide-phone style orientation, with the exposed part of the screen on the bottom showing a keyboard to allow input into the top display.
Each half would be capable of running an app on its own, or two parts of the same one e.g. one display’s a touch-screen keyboard, while the other shows what you’re typing. It’s somewhat reminiscent of the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Cons, which can be used to play games either connected together or separated by one user, or separately by two players, albeit in a different orientation.
Folding phones are likely going to be a big deal this year, but don’t get too excited for your twin-phone yet. Turning this from drawings to a physical product is probably going to take years…