One of my favorite Samsung smartphone designs was found in a granted design patent published in early January by the U.S. Patent Office regarding a "fold-out" foldable smartphone design. Our report covering this design presented a photo of a Lenovo prototype design to illustrate that this is the favored design to date that could enter the market sometime in the next two years. Today Samsung was granted a new round of smartphone designs that may interest some Samsung fans. The new smartphone designs cover wraparound and scrollable displays and more.
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.
Smartphone Design #1: Full Wraparound Display
At the top of the report I pointed to a January 2017 fold-out smartphone design. Now the Samsung design team have come out with similar design without folding it out. The display simply wraps around to the backside and provides a full display as noted in patent figures below.
Samsung Design #2: Full Display Front
The second Samsung design patent is a bit of a strange duck. The front side looks like the new Galaxy S8 with a full display and no home button. The top has no openings and the bottom has only one that could either be a headphone jack or a new kind of port.
The backside of the design is where the design patent fails us completely in communicating what we're actually seeing. The clear point is that the camera is finally flush with the back panel.
From there, however, the design leaves us with big questions. Is the design conveying that it's a transparent glass panel so that users could see the components inside the back panel including the battery or is it simply conveying what's behind the back panel, as in a camera, LED Flash, a battery and two sensors (that may indicate there's a fingerprint scanner and an additional unknown element).
At the top there appears to be no buttons or slots and the bottom only has headphone jack. Is there no removable SIM card? Are all other controls like for volume virtual in nature? Once again, this design patent leaves us with more questions than answers.
Samsung's Single Scroll Mobile Device
The last design is simply part of a Samsung granted patent issued today. In February 2017 Patently Mobile posted a report titled "New Samsung Patents give us a Peek at their Work on Next-Gen Smartphones and Mobile TVs with Scrollable Displays." In that patent Samsung showed us a scrollable device with two equal handles that opened like a scroll with the flexible display residing in both handles equally.
In today's scrollable device we're able to see that the design calls for a single housing that houses the flexible display with just a smaller pull out handle on the right side.
The scrollable display device category has also caught Apple's attention as well. Coincidentally, Apple was granted their First Patent for an iDevice like an iPhone that uses a Scrollable Display today.
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