Samsung patents an interesting way to house the S-Pen in a dual-folding device

Samsung patents an interesting way to house the S-Pen in a dual-folding device
By now, most of us know Samsung is pretty serious about its foldable future. The manufacturer revealed plenty of working prototypes of devices that fold multiple times at CES 2022. However, a new patent has now been revealed to the public. This patent demonstrates a new way to store the S-Pen in a foldable device. Let’s break it down.

An S-Pen housing behind a foldable screen

The new patent was illustrated by Let’sGoDigital in a couple of drawings. It was first filed by Samsung on July 23 of 2021, but it became available to the public yesterday.

The patent reveals a dual-folding device that has a display with one outer and one inward-folding part. A place for the S-Pen is visible in the patent. This place is located between the two parts of the outward-folding section of the screen, behind the display itself, integrated into the body of the phone.

Cutouts for the S-Pen are located behind both parts of the screen on either side of the hinge in the body parts themselves. These cutouts come together when the display is folded to create a large enough housing for the stylus.

This is an interesting design idea, especially considering previously the company was keen on using a separate housing inside the body of the device, like on the now gone Galaxy Note series. It is also unclear whether this new type of housing features magnets that allow for a stronger fit of the S-Pen to the body parts when the screen is folded.

It looks like whenever you open the outward section of the foldable screen, the S-Pen will be presented to you. We can’t be sure as to whether the accessory will simply fall off when opening or it will stick to one of the two parts of its housing.

At first glance, this idea looks pretty cool, but maybe kind of unnecessary. It is questionable whether the cutouts will make the device less comfortable to hold when both parts of the screen are in the unfolded position. Logically, the idea is probably for the S-Pen to be mostly used when the device extends in its largest form and stays hidden between the outward-folding parts of the screen the rest of the time.

Still, this raises another potential disadvantage, and that is the potential need to unfold a part of the screen that you don't necessarily want to use so you have access to the stylus.

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What’s important to note is that foldable phones are different from their traditional smartphone counterparts. The space issue is way bigger in foldable devices, and this idea of Samsung allows for a dedicated place for the S-Pen where it can be housed, without the need to drill deep holes or attach it on the side of the device where it will be easy to detach.

Which Galaxy Z Fold device will be the first to house the S-Pen?

Samsung released two foldable phones last year. These were the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Galaxy Z Flip 3. Both of these devices saw major improvements compared to their predecessors, especially in the foldable technology department. These also strived to improve the reliability of Samsung’s foldable lineup and make it more accessible to the public.

Still, the company is yet to release a big foldable tablet. Rumors about Samsung working on a Galaxy Z Fold Tab have been circulating for almost a year now, and the device is reported to feature a similar double-folding design as the one described in the patent.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that the Galaxy Z Fold Tab will for sure have an S-Pen housing. Last year the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 was the company’s first foldable device to support the S-Pen. However, it did not have a dedicated spot for the accessory, which many found a bit unpractical. As you might've guessed, the lack of housing for the S-Pen was reportedly due to lack of space.

This patent shows the housing is placed behind an outward-folding display, which makes the odds of the upcoming Galaxy Z Fold 4 featuring the design from the patent pretty small, as most likely it will be an inward-folding phone.

In conclusion, if this design ever sees production, which is pretty uncertain as with any new tech patent, it will probably make its debut on a double-folding Samsung tablet. As for its release, the Galaxy Z Fold Tab will reportedly arrive this year, but the Korean company could opt to keep the S-Pen housing design for later generations of the device.

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