On May 30, Patently Mobile posted a patent report titled "Samsung Continues to Work on a Foldable Galaxy Smartphone," which showed us a basic foldable smartphone form factor that they were working on. Then on June 6 Bloomberg posted a report titled "Samsung May Release Phones with Bendable Screens in 2017." Bloomberg's sources further noted that Samsung's 'Project Valley' smartphone project could in some form come to market as soon as February, when Mobile World Congress takes place in Barcelona. That timing would give Samsung a head-start on Apple's iPhone using OLED screens that may be released later in 2017. Last week the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office published yet another patent application from Samsung which further supports not only foldable smartphone designs but also possible future foldable Galaxy tablets.
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Samsung's Foldable Tablet Concepts
Samsung's patent FIG. 23 noted above illustrates examples of executing different modes from each other based on a touch gesture performed when the foldable device #100 (tablet) is unfolded.
As shown in FIG. 22A below, a user may unfold the foldable device #100 (tablet) while the user touches an icon # i20, from among icons displayed on the edge display area a1, by using a finger or thumb f31. In this case, as shown in FIG. 22B, an execution screen that relates to an application which corresponds to the icon i20 touched by the user may be displayed on the flexible display unit #15.
Unlocking a Foldable Tablet
Samsung's patent FIGS. 24A, 24B, and 25 below illustrate diagrams for explaining an example of unlocking the flexible display unit #115 based on a gesture that relates to unfolding the foldable tablet device #100.
As shown in FIG. 24A above, user icons which respectively correspond to a plurality of users may be displayed on the first edge display area a1. Number icons for inputting a password may be displayed on the second edge display area a2.
For example, a user may unfold the foldable device while touching a user icon i30 and a number icon i31 respectively by using fingers f41 and f42. If the foldable device determines that the user icon i30 and the number icon i31 which are selected by a touch input correspond to each other, the foldable device releases a locked state of the foldable device and displays a wallpaper on the flexible display as illustrated in patent FIG. 24B above.
Alternatively Samsung's patent FIG. 25 above illustrates diagrams for explaining an example of inputting a password.
Samsung's Latest Foldable Smartphone Concepts
Samsung's patent FIGS. 19A and, 19B illustrate diagrams for explaining an example of touch recognition in an edge display area. Patent FIGS. 18A and 18B noted below illustrate diagrams for explaining a method for controlling an edge display area based on a direction in which the foldable device faces.
Samsung's patent FIGS. 18A and 18B illustrate diagrams for explaining a method for controlling an edge display area based on a direction in which the foldable device faces.
Samsung's patent FIGS. 15A, 15B, and 15C illustrate diagrams for explaining a method for controlling a floating display area based on a direction in which a user views the foldable device.
Samsung filed their patent application back in November 2015. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
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