In January we reported that Kwon Oh-hyeon, vice-chairman and CEO, Samsung Electronics, stated during an analyst meeting that they "would lead innovation by introducing the 'foldable' display in 2015." On Tuesday, Samsung was granted a major design patent regarding a multiple-display, foldable smartphone. This particular design allows one of the displays to house the Samsung pen which could indicate that this is a future Galaxy Note-type of smartphone or phablet.
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.
For example, Samsung has worked on many spine gears for dual displays over the years such as this one and yet in this design patent Samsung seems to have abandoned this design. Or is it really there and simply not emphasized. That's the problem with design patents. For now, take a peek at Samsung's design patent figures.
The foldable/flexible display shown in the graphic above is designed to appear as one giant display once the user unfolds their smartphone. This is the first time this design has surfaced. Other designs for /multiple display smartphones can be found in our archives.
After Samsung's poor quarterly financials being revealed this week, the news of such a design patent win is a positive note. If such a form factor actually debuts in 2015 as Samsung officials have indicated, then they might be able to lead by innovation and fend off some of their smaller competitors. Are we looking at innovation or an artist's dream of what could be? Only time will tell.
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