What you need to know
- Samsung filed for a patent for a smartphone concept with a sideways folding screen.
- The upper half of the screen extends when unfolded, and the folding display curves around the back when in its compact form.
- The patent was filed with the World Intellectual Property Office last year, though it remains unknown when and if Samsung will materialize the concept.
With foldable phones now becoming mainstream thanks to the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3, many Chinese OEMs have already released their respective challengers to Samsung's best foldable phones to date. Samsung now appears to be exploring new concepts for its future Galaxy Z model to stay ahead of the competition.
A patent discovered by LetsGoDigital reveals a foldable phone with a quirky design, unfolding from the left to extend the upper half of the display. In its compact form, the folding screen wraps around towards the back of the phone.
The patent was filed in 2021 with the World Intellectual Property Office, with unofficial product renders available below thanks to graphic designer Jermaine Smit (Concept Creator).
The folding practically happens on the top half of the device, giving it sort of a reverse P-shape when in unfolded form. If the sideways folding screen looks familiar, it's because Samsung may have taken inspiration from the LG Wing's swivel display.
Like the LG Wing's dual-screen experience, the wrap-around screen on Samsung's as-yet-unnamed device might prove handy in a number of situations that require multitasking. For example, it could display your Google Meet video call screen while opening other apps on the main display.
There are other use cases for the sideways folding screen, including using it as a viewfinder when taking a selfie with the rear camera. The patent suggests the handset will have a triple rear camera setup sitting next to the wrap-around screen when folded.
You could also watch a YouTube video in the upper half of the screen while running other apps in the lower portion.
According to LetsGoDigital, the screen will use the same ultra-thin glass (UTG) found on the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Z Fold 3 as a protective layer. Its hinge system is also supposedly bolstered with three magnets to keep the folding portion of the screen in place.
That said, patents don't usually translate into actual products, so there's no guarantee Samsung's concept for a sideways foldable display will make a commercial debut.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.