Foldable Samsung smartphone revealed by patents in an advanced development stage

Foldable Samsung smartphone revealed by patents in an advanced development stage
Behind closed doors, Samsung is working on what's going to be a radical smartphone design innovation – foldable designs. We know the company has been trying to put its flexible OLED panels to such use for a long time now, under the "Project Valley" moniker. From time to time, a patent application surfaces, giving us a window into the project's development.

The last one to rear its head is actually very recent, and it also happens to picture the foldable smartphone in quite an advanced development stage. Samsung's design seems extremely intricate, employing not just a flexible display panel, but an elaborate mechanic contraption (gears and all!) to let the user fold the device in half. It's the kind of engineering that only a company with uncountable resources like Samsung and Apple can pull off.

Aside from detailing the mechanical hinge, the patent shows a smartphone that looks reasonably complete. It has some familiar things going on about it, such as power and volume keys and a convential camera placement, but it lacks a Home button and it features two magnetic studs so the phone can stay securely folded.

Although there is no rumors release date floating in the wild, it's possible that Samsung will release the foldable smartphone sometime later this year. Although no one is giving any guarantees that these patented designs will ultimately appear on the market, the company's work on Project Valley seems to be far along and entertains the thought of a near-future release.

source: Original patent via



1. wando77

Posts: 1168; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

Seriously, why would you even mention Apple in this article other than for click bait reasons? Apple aren't capable of this so please don't mention them in a foldable screen section.

4. Adreno

Posts: 755; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

@wando77 The writer spoke about uncountable resources. Apple is capable of it. They even have more financial resources than Samsung.

29. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Yes they have financial resources and that's it. They don;t have their own ability to do such in-house. As per usual, Apple would hire/partner or buy the company that haas the tech and then claim it as their own and use it. Unlike Samsung who actually has it own engineers and design peopel who would handle this in-house. Big difference. Money can't buy everything no matter how much of it you have. Even though Samsung Electronics which is bigger than Apple physically, actually has an unlimited supply of money. After all they are part of Samsung Limited which as lots of money, they are 25% of their country's GDP which is an incredible amount of money. Does Apple have either of them? NO! Samsung has never been on the brink of bankruptcy, can Apple say that?

34. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Based on how much money Apple spends on R&D vs how much Samsung spends on R&D, Samsung actually acts like they have an unlimited supply of money, while Apple has money and doesn't even really use it. After all, name any product Apple has that contains 1st party components. 1st party meaning, "made by Apple". When you break down OSX and iOS, they are both based on operating system by others. The components are all 2nd and 3rd party. Even though Apple designs their CPU, it si based of their partnership and holding with ARM, making their CPU 2nd party. This vs Samsung to where you open their products and I could guess that 75% of it would be all Samsung 1st party. How many factories does Apple own? Other than I think 1 or 2 here in the USA, they don't have any. Samsung has over 300,000 employees for Samsung Electronics exclusively. That makes them 3 times the size of Apple, they spend far and away more money on R&D due to the fact they have a much larger product portfolio. Apple makes 2 products, the Mac and the iPod. Apple spend far less money on R&D for the iPhone and iPad because all of the work was done already when they made the iPod Touch. Adding cellular hardware is an obvious evolution. The iPad is just a larger of the same thing, again requires hardly any money. After all the base work is done, all you are doing is increasing size. How much money you think Apple spent on R&D for the iPhone SE? I can take a very good guess. $0, because the foundation they already have. They went into the drawing bend, pull out the 5S design, had their engineers simply make changes by adding the updated hardware which all fits in basically the same places. It probably took less than 30 minutes to get this idea from table to production. This vs Samsung likely spend millions to get the S7's ready even though they also had a foundation to work with. But consider, Samsung didnt have the luxury of pulling a case out the dust bend and reusing it. Samsung actually had to spend money to retool machines for a full case redesign, then they had to make the glass smaller, the money they spent to make a new processor, modems, GPU and new audio system. The money spent to waterproof a metal phone where the previous model didnt have such. I could go on, but the point is made. Apple had money. Money means nothign sitting in a bank vault.

35. Cicero

Posts: 1129; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

So, Apple have to buy Samsung then! LOL

39. Adreno

Posts: 755; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

Buy Samsung? Apple can't afford it!

46. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Apple doesn't have enough money to buy Samsung.

5. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

apple didnt even try.. lol but they may patent foldable tablet soon, just because they want to sue samsung in the future, lol

6. Adreno

Posts: 755; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

We know Apple didn't try it. Luis was talking about "uncountable resources" to finance such a project. Why does HTC not do it too? Because HTC's resources are tiny. Nothing compared to Samsung's.

8. Colonel-Moris

Posts: 34; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

Do you really think making a HINGE needs "uncountable resources"? There are literary infinite types of hinges already invented, engineered, manufactured, perfected and ready to use for every project imaginable. They are just hyping an otherwise simple task of pulling a suitable hinge out of a shelf and slapping it on the darn phone. Jesus!

10. hwb01

Posts: 355; Member since: Apr 17, 2014

How about you try to put a hinge on your phone and tell us what happens

15. Colonel-Moris

Posts: 34; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

I don't NEED a HINGE on my PHONE. My laptop has hinges and it came with a warning not to put excessive force on the hinge. My colleagues sometimes disregard this warning and end up with damaged hinges. I am happy with my tablet and large phone exactly because they do NOT have hinges so I can use them while walking around and sometimes my colleagues have sat on them with no problem at all. Imagine accidentally sitting on an open table that has got hinges. I am not going to use a hinged phone or tablet even if given to me for free, because I have to worry about the HINGE instead of focusing on my work. Besides, miniature hinges have been in use in jewelry and antique items for a very long times. It is amazing that people still think they are modern engineering "inventions" by the likes of Samsung and Apple with infinite resources! Just visit a jeweler and show them this article and watch them laugh!

31. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Most of the people here don't know how or even want to have the ability to think outside the box they live in. Please understand many here are basically children when it comes to the experience of life.

30. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

The writer is assuming no other company jas the resources to do similar. They all do. How much money do you think it costs to do something like this? Example, HTC is a partner of Microsoft. They could go to Microsoft and say, hay we have this idea, we need help. Can you help us. BOOM! Instant cash with HTC rolling Microsoft Apps/Services into their products. HTC has money. You dont need unlimited resources to make an invention that could change the world. Many did such thing with pocket change or no money at all. You don't need money to have a great idea. All you need is the smarts to understand how to make it happen, and then you find the resources to make it happen.

44. S-R-K

Posts: 304; Member since: Mar 15, 2016

Great wise post. Unlike dumbass Apple users.

12. johanbiff

Posts: 415; Member since: Mar 31, 2015

you took the words straight from my mouth

27. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Because they are obsessed. They can't write a Samsung article without mentioning Apple, just liek they can't write an Apple article without mentioning Samsung.. They are obsessed in their love of Apple and hate of Samsung. They can't let Samsung have its own limelight or Apple have its own and criticize or praise either for who they both are independently. Samsung is older than Apple by quite a few years.

3. AlikMalix unregistered

hope drawings above dont really represent exact model - because what I see above is as useful as the edges on samsung edge models...

32. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Did you even look at all the drawings? The concept of the mechanism isn't even about the hinge or the fact it folds. Its more about the display inside, where the mechanism folds a certain way to keep the display inside it from getting damaged from the folding mechanism. It also potentially is showing that the device could have a display that when unfolded would make the device slightly larger. Example, maybe the device folded would be roughly a 3.5" device. Could unfold to double the size when needed. Ty thinking different. Stop think in Apple terms, and thing in actual engineering terms and outside the box of Apple's reality distortion field and maybe you could see this could potentially be useful. Though to be honest, I dont see this being as useful on a phone. But the phone could be a pre-cursor to what they potentially could do with a larger a Tablet. Remember the Microsoft Courier Concept? Well this folding tech could now make the Courier a more viable device that could be massed produced.

40. AlikMalix unregistered

I didn't say anything about hinges. I meant that this device folding like that looks tacky and rather than holding a thing slate (like the phones right now) you'll be sticking a block in your pocket. It think flexible screens have potential to be something else. This is just using tech for the sake of using it (like the edge). theres not problems that this solves. It maybe a cool looking thing, but making something thick for the sake of making it smaller and adding crevices to collect grime and dust and possible mechanical failure isn't how I expected folding screens to debute. I think Samsung is capable of doing something great with flex screens - just didn't think this would be it. I guess you got to start somewhere

45. S-R-K

Posts: 304; Member since: Mar 15, 2016

You have great knowledge about tech and about Apple. Techie is the same with Android. The rest of the Apple fans are dumbass. Jimrod is OK. Ordinary unordinary gaming64 Thierry OK.

47. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

But its a drawing, which means its only are representation to explain the patent filing requirements. It doesn't mean its going to look exactly like that. Have some faith.

48. AlikMalix unregistered

Sometimes these drawings are broad - this one is a bit specific. But I understand this --- it's just that I had a different approach to this technology than a wallet phone.

7. Colonel-Moris

Posts: 34; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

Is this a joke? The whole thing is simply too stupid. How are a pair of tiny hinges with gears going to withstand the leverage force? Lenovo's yoga ultrabook hinges make a lot more sense. That is the only practical hinge for such a foldable. I thought Samsung "engineers" were going to use a similar concept. Fail.

13. catze86

Posts: 731; Member since: Dec 07, 2015

I dont know, but almost all of Samsung patents work in real life. Just like Samsung putting a smartphone on your wrist or use your body as sound transmiter.

18. Colonel-Moris

Posts: 34; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

This will certainly work too if you are ready to put up with taking special care of the hinge thing. Watches are different, my G-Shock is the toughest piece of gear I have on me. If the hinges on my Casio fails, which won't, I will just replace it easily with a new strap. But I doubt you can put together two pieces of phone so easily yourself after the hinge got broken. The display will tear surely.

33. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Your assuming you have to take special care. You're focus is pure on a hinge. Dude, try actually looking deeper at the drawings and stop being so superficial.

36. Colonel-Moris

Posts: 34; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

What is "so superficial" about taking into consideration the most critical structural aspect of such a design?!!! We are talking about a radical design change, from a solid one piece with potentially huge structural stability, to a design with moving parts connected with a tiny hinge on the sides. While it is not too difficult to assure structural integrity of even a thin and wide solid piece with proper geometry, it will be a nightmare to achieve the same structural stability in the case of a tiny hinge. This design is the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen. And yes you will need to take very good care of such a device exactly because of the hinge. How much force do you think is needed to break such a thing? Today people spend a lot of time with their phones handling them while doing all sorts of tasks at the same time. We drop our phones but much of the time nothing happens to them because they are one piece. A strong hinge can get damaged very easily during a shock from a drop. We play games on them, we are going to put a lot of pressure on both pieces at the same time, while playing action games, so twisting and pushing the hinge. We did not do such things at the time dumb flip-phones, we wouldn't twist and squeeze them while playing game, and we did not put that much serious force on their two pieces at the same time while playing action games because there were not any!

20. tedkord

Posts: 17356; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Right. Then everybody starts yelling, "Samesung, copycat, etc..." There isn't only one answer to any given problem.

24. Adreno

Posts: 755; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

Especialy Apple fans like cnour, saif2711. They're the one who yell like that.

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