Samsung files patent for foldable phone; 2017 Apple iPhone could employ flexible nanowire display

Samsung files patent for foldable phone; 2017 Apple iPhone could employ flexible nanowire display
Samsung filed a patent application last year with the USPTO, for a foldable smartphone. This would most likely be a new high-end Galaxy device as the application notes that it will have a fingerprint or iris scanner. The phone is shown folding up to reveal a charging port that is used when the handset sits inside a dock. Unfortunately, the display cannot be seen when the battery is charging, which is one thing that Samsung might want to revise. The patent was filed in November 2015.

Speaking of flexible devices, a report published on Monday says that Apple is going to use silver nanowire. This technology is being prepped by Apple supplier TPK. The latter is the company behind Apple's 3D Touch. With silver nanowire, a smartphone screen is flexible enough to survive a drop.

We first told you about nanowire a little over a year ago when a rumor circulated calling for the then unannounced Apple iPad Pro to sport a nanowire screen. That, of course, never came true. Now, the rumor is recycled for the tenth-anniversary iPhone, which will be released next year. That might be expecting things to move too fast. Most experts in the industry expect the technology to be employed in two to five years.

Returning to Samsung's patent, note that the device in the diagram folds down from the top and up from the bottom. That resembles the curve found on the LG G Flex series as opposed to the the curve on the short-lived Samsung Galaxy Round. The sides on the latter phone each curved inward slightly.

We do get the impression that this is not going to be the design of any Samsung Galaxy handset for the near future.


via PatentlyMobile (1), (2) via AndroidAuthority

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