Patently Mobile has reported extensively on Samsung's design and utility patents regarding flexible and foldable displays for tablets smartphones with dual displays for years. Samsung has been promising analysts that a bendable smartphone is just around the corner for a few years now and one has yet to materialize. The promising started way back in 2009 at CES. Once again Bloomberg reported that a bendable smartphone under the umbrella of 'Project Valley' could arrive in early Q1 2017. This past July we posted a report titled "Samsung Patent Illustrates a New Round of Foldable Smartphone and Tablet Concepts," that presented a nice foldable tablet idea.
This week the U.S. Patent Office published a newly granted design patent regarding yet another interesting foldable tablet idea. At some point in time Samsung will have to introduce one of these ideas or be laughed at for paying engineers to dream up stuff that they never plan to actually produce. I'll tell you one thing: if Apple ever decided to introduce a foldable tablet, Samsung would rush to copy it within a year, hands down. Why they can't deliver a single foldable tablet to date is very unimpressive.
Yet with that said, the following design patent figures were published this past Tuesday. One patent figure introduces a built-in keyboard in this multi-folded form factor.
Unlike "patent applications," design patents published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office don't reveal pertinent information about a particular design. We can look at the design and appreciate it for what it projects, but we'll never discover which materials may be used to construct the design. We'll never know what unique internal components may be hidden within the device or learn about any unique features that we could look forward to. All we get is the simple visual of what could be coming down the pipeline.
In patent figure 9 of this particular design we're able to see a unique set of features. Samsung doesn't explain how their folded tablet configuration would produce an iPad Pro-like device. Nor do they explain how the soft-cover keyboard would be folded and locked into place while typing. This is the nonsense that Samsung gets away with in a design patent that's more dream than reality. But who knows, maybe they'll surprise us.
When fully opened, the three segments of the folded display would produce a rather large tablet area to view content on, like a movie.
The design patent was filed in the U.S. on July 14, 2015
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