Samsung may be losing billions of dollars due to that whole Galaxy Note 7 exploding battery thing, but that doesn’t mean the company is going to close up shop and quit making phones. And according to recent patent filings, they have some drastically different ideas in the pipeline.
According to Cnet, Samsung recently published a patent for a foldable smartphone that they hope to release as early as next year. As touchscreens become bigger and bigger, a foldable phone that fits easier into your pocket, purse, or backpack might actually make a lot of sense.
You can see in these patent photos that the phone as a sort of accordion-like hinge, allowing it to mimic flip phones of previous generations of mobile devices. Tech companies have already experimented with curved screens, but a completely foldable screen hasn’t been mass produced yet. Obviously, folding an entire smartphone is a technological hurdle, since all of the components inside need to be either moved out of the way or also made foldable.
Samsung has not publicly commented on when, or if, such a foldable phone would be available to the general public.