Back in September Patently Apple posted a report wherein it noted that Samsung was hinting that they might present their first foldable smartphone design to developers at their conference in San Francisco on November 7, 2018. Whether they’ll present it on stage or behind the scene to top developers only is unknown at this time. Then on Friday Patently Apple covered news that Samsung was going to be very aggressive in 2019 with 5G and a foldable smartphone being a priority in an effort to challenge Apple and their Chinese competitors.
On October 11th the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) published a patent application from Samsung covering a foldable device, never referring to it as a smartphone in any shape or form. There were no points of reference pointing to wireless connectivity.
This week USPTO published another patent-pending foldable display device from Samsung, displaying the most common design in recent months. In this patent application Samsung revealed an interface on the front display that is a part of what is known in the industry as a ‘fold out’ design.
Patently Apple posted a report back in January 2017 with a photo of a Lenovo ‘fold out’ smartphone prototype as noted below, along with a similar Samsung form factor patent figure.
In this latest patent filing, Samsung revealed an interface clearly illustrating a ‘Mail’ app which would confirm that the foldable device could at least support a wireless data plan even though Samsung’s patent filing doesn’t provide a reference to any wireless technologies whatsoever.
Samsung’s patent filing further notes that they’re currently developing flexible display members capable of being folded or rolled. A flexible display apparatus is designed to be folded, rolled, or bent like paper, unlike a rigid or non-flexible flat display apparatus. The flexible display apparatus is capable of varying in shape may be easily carried and enhance users’ convenience.
Samsung goes on to describe an embodiment of their inventive concept providing a display apparatus including: a display module configured to display an image and to be folded about a folding axis at a folding area defined on a plane; a support member below the display module; and a protective member between the display module and the support member. To read more details and see more patent figures illustrating their fold-out styled foldable form, check out our full Samsung patent report on Patently Mobile here.