Samsung’s foldable phone tipped on track for 2017, detailed patent reveals possible design

Samsung’s foldable smartphone still on track for 2017, a detailed patent reveals possible design
It seems that all efforts over at Samsung's mobile division are now focused on getting the eventual two Galaxy S8 models out of the gate, and getting them right. We were wondering what will happen to the foldable Project Valley model with flexible display and hinge that was rumored for announcement around the MWC expo in the spring of 2017, and, funny enough, a publication appeared that tips it will now appear in the "latter half of the year."

Given the Note 7 drama, Samsung can be forgiven to put a unique niche model on the backburner, for the sake of outing an appealing flagship as soon as possible without compromising quality. The analyst that tipped the eventual H2 2017 release timeframe says it's because the start of mass 6th-gen flexible display production expected around Q3 2017 for both Samsung and LG. Yep, LG is apparently also striving to release a Gumby phone at some point next year.

Interestingly enough, the analyst claims that Samsung will be able to produce up to 10 million 7" flexible OLED screens a month by the end of next year. This number sounds like quite a stretch, as a foldable phone would undoubtedly be a niche device, but those panels might not be for Samsung only - let's not forget that Apple is rumored to introduce a flexible OLED display in the larger iPhone 8 Plus as well.

Pouring water further in the Project Valley rumor mill is a fresh patent filed by Samsung in Korea that fleshes out how such a handset could look like. Unlike most of the wacky schematics it has already filed on the matter, this one looks simpler and pretty doable, with a hinge in the middle that very much resembles what we already have on, say, Microsoft's Surface Book

It is essentially an elongated, bendy device that can fold onto itself to occupy a much smaller footprint for easier carrying in pockets and purses, then flipped open when you need the full screen real estate. The patent PDF provided below also lists the hinge mechanism in great detail, and depicts what looks like a push button meant to automatically unfold the phone, just as rumored. An interesting idea that we might finally see come to fruition in 2017, so stay tuned to PhoneArena for what is shaping up to be a pretty disruptive year for the smartphone industry.

source: The Investor & KIPRIS (PDF) via

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