It looks like Samsung will have a number of foldable designs to choose from for its follow-up to the Galaxy Fold.
Dutch tech news blog LetsGoDigital unearthed a 2017 patent from Samsung today (March 28) that describes a double-fold smartphone. The official patent sketch featured on the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO), and the 3D renderings that LetsGoDigital put together based on it, look similar to the upcoming Xiaomi foldable that we first saw in January and got a new peek at this week.
Unlike the Galaxy Fold, this design from Samsung features one screen that covers the outside of the phone, folding in two places to cover the main screen. The Fold, due out April 26, opens and closes like a book, a popular design among current foldable devices. Huawei and Royole, the only other companies to formally announce foldables, also go with an outside wrap screen design, though their designs fold inward.
This is just one of several folding phone patents Samsung has filed. So this design may not necessarily be the one the company goes with for any subsequent follow-ups to the Galaxy Fold.
A Bloomberg report from this month claims the Galaxy maker is working on two different foldables right now, one of which features a clamshell design. Samsung was granted a patent for a design like that earlier this year. And more recently, it won approval on a far-out wristband phone patent.
Of course, with alleged screen quality problems besetting the Galaxy Fold brand before it’s even been launched, Samsung’s overactive rethinking of its folding-screen phone approach could be mostly “break glass in case of emergency” plans.
Reports have Samsung dipping back later this year for a second foldable release after the Galaxy Fold. We’ll have to stay tuned to see what we get.