Samsung Electronics is one of the top manufacturers of Consumer Electronics. They have mastered their ability to manufacture displays over time and are are now manufacturing curved displays. Samsung started to put the partially curved display into their phones from the Galaxy Note Edge and their recent Note and S8 series that have a dual-edge display.
In the last few months, we have seen an increased interest in foldable phones. Now, Samsung has filed a design patent that shows us that they have plans for a foldable smartphone project. If recent rumors can be believed the proposed device will be named as Galaxy X. The Galaxy X will showcase a new hinge technology and a bendable screen.
Samsung's recent patent filing supports the rumor regarding the Galaxy X. Samsung is suggesting that this patent is applicable to any electronic device that relies on a hinge which includes phones, a head-mounted display, a vacuum cleaner, and other medical devices.
The sketches show us a "flexible electronic device", this includes two rigid housings coupled via a multi-joint hinge in the middle. The device will close under a magnetic force with the screen facing inwards. Unlike its flipping predecessors, however, the Galaxy X won't feature a keyboard. This means that the phone gets two displays. However, the projected release date as of last month was 2019.
Even though there are existing prototypes such as Lenovo's CPlus in the market, Samsung's patent highlights the considerable design and component challenges.
One of the major challenges in a foldable device is the main body of the phone. Major Components such as the camera module is difficult to fit inside a foldable device. However, this is not difficult because camera sensors in the recent days are small enough to fit into fixed locations. The PCB of the device can be made with elastic material and the circuits can handle some bending. The biggest challenge is the battery. However, Samsung might go for a two-part battery.
A foldable Dual-Display would be a gamechanger in the smartphone market. However, at this time we do not know anything about the device's specification. The patent shows us that Samsung is working on a foldable device.