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



1. Barney_stinson

Posts: 672; Member since: May 30, 2016

Lets hope they dont say! If its not an iphone , its not the iphone!

2. emmawilliam834

Posts: 241; Member since: Feb 09, 2016

So this is going to be like Sony Tablet

3. Unordinary unregistered

No. It's going to be like a Samsung or Apple device. Get over it.

8. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2475; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

No, the Sony Tablet P (which I am guessing is the one you are referring to) had two displays towards the edge where the hinge was, whereas this will be one display that can bend in half.

4. AlikMalix unregistered

I dont understand the motive for foldable displays unless it's a tablet. Phones (even the note series which are big) aren't really a problem to carry around these days. Why fix something that's not broken. But I digress, there's probably bigger plans for foldable displays than just a return to a flip phone era.

5. Macready

Posts: 1829; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

Smaller is still a benefit and the screen protection unbeatable.

6. AlikMalix unregistered

I guess I still see it as a trade off between ability to fold vs seamless screen ( unless ofcourse, they can make it fold and be seamless).

9. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2475; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

That is exactly what they are proposing...Samsung is proposing one display that can fold in half. They have had this technology for years and have just recently (in the past few months) been able to create a foldable screen that can bend to such extremes without losing any display abilities.

12. tedkord

Posts: 17452; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I think what he's asking is will the screen be creased by folding? We don't know for sure, yet.

20. DnB925Art

Posts: 1168; Member since: May 23, 2013

IMO, I think that's the goal of future phones. Both foldable and seamless at the same time. Wouldn't that be something?! I like the aspect of the screen protection it would afford much like the old flip phones of the past. My favorite phone back in the day was the Motorolla Star Tac. You could drop that thing with the screen closed and never had to worry about breakage.

11. tedkord

Posts: 17452; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

That's odd, because before Apple released the Plus series, all we heard was how unwieldy phablets were and that they couldn't fit in your pocket. Times have changed.

14. AlikMalix unregistered

Phablets were accepted as normal before Apple released the "plus" models.

17. tedkord

Posts: 17452; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Not by Apple users.

18. AlikMalix unregistered

Hmmmm... You mean Apple users that bought the Note because they wanted a bigger screen are no longer Apple users. Then switched back when Apple made a phablet are still not Apple users. Those that didn't like phablets found them rediculous, those that wanted one bought one - at Apple loss. It's really not as black and white as trolls make it seem here on PA. Majority of People switch back and forth all the time.

22. engineer-1701d unregistered

i can see this taking off we older peps love the flip of the moto and the nextel days units size but we love the bigger screen this is both, since you are a mac user think iphone 6 and 6 plus fold in half to slide in pocket no bending or dropping and shattered screens. this could work, it reminds me or the sprint kyocera unit that had 2 screens in it

7. Bankz

Posts: 2550; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

I don't see how this is a game changer. Otherwise, how is this different from a clamshell phone? Maybe, some years down the road I guess. I rather prefer apples method, as that has more beneficial results to the consumer. Until technology will get to the level of a tablet folding into the size of an iphone 5/galaxy S, or something close to that, then doesn't have much use to the consumer besides being a clamshell phone 2.0, albeit a rather inconvenient, ineffective one at that.

13. tedkord

Posts: 17452; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Are you serious? The difference is a clamshell phone had a tiny screen on one half of the shell, while this has a single screen covering the entire inside surface. It's like if you could fold a phablet in half for portability. Remember, before Apple launched the 6+, Apple fans all claimed that these large phones couldn't fit in a pants pocket. They've since changed their tune, of course...

15. HomerS

Posts: 419; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

Consider this the brickphone of the foldable devices. Samsung has to start somewhere to be able to create better devices. It also has to make business sense, if companies could jump over some generations and could still make a profit/return of investment they probably would. The prices have still to be affordable for potential customers.

10. WajTech

Posts: 2; Member since: May 31, 2016

Rock on Samsung!

16. wando77

Posts: 1168; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

Did Apple really need a mention in this article or was it just to water down samsung's achievement?

19. AlikMalix unregistered

Well they could have titled: 2017 Apple iPhone could employ flexible nanowire display; Samsung files patent for foldable phone. Would you have said: "did Samsung need a mention in this article or was it just to water down apples achievement?" No, you wouldn't, because you're blind toward Apple and worship Samsung. It's a troll phenomenon that captures so many simple minded people that really can't comprehend that they for some odd reason just mushed two different news together in one article. Is it a sin in your android religion to give Apple any credit? Or does it hurt in brain (or butt) to realize Apple actually builds a great product? It's just two unrelated news mushed together, that's all. Now go change your pad.

21. dmakun

Posts: 382; Member since: Jun 06, 2011

Dude, you need to chill with "troll" name calling thing here. The fellow asked a valid question why the writers here on PA always mash-up their articles by often referencing or mentioning Apple when doing virtually every Samsung titled article and I've noticed this trend too. Why do you feel he's on the wrong to highlight this silliness? I'm particularly surprised by the sudden reference in this piece too cos they perhaps should consider doing a seperate article for this much information for Apples device development instead of squeezing it into a Samsung device development piece.

23. AlikMalix unregistered

Hey, if you follow the content of his posts, they're all about discrediting Apple and their users. You see words - I see context. This is as much Apple article as Otis Samsung, yeh his point was derigatory toward Apple. Both sides in this article carry the same weight - yet in his view - apples news are used to water down.samsungs "achievement" (which happens to be just a drawing submitted to a patent office and apples news is a speculation based on earlier acquisition).

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