Fact that Samsung Electronics registered patents that are related to ‘foldable phone’ was captured again. It seems that Samsung Electronics is plotting for another innovation in Smartphone markets with ‘foldable phones’ followed by Edge Smartphones.
Patently Apple, which is a media that specializes in patents, reported on the 15th (U.S. time) that Samsung registered 2 patents that are related to ‘foldable phone’ to U.S. Patent Office. One of the patents is about connecting many plates into XY matrix type with ‘robotic muscles’ and this will allow Smartphones to be bent in any shape of forms. The other patent is about foldable half of Smartphones by pressing with a finger. A function where clock application becomes calendar application will be possible if a user pushes back side of a Smartphone. “It seems that Samsung Electronics registered these patents not to protect its technologies but to commercialize them in the future.” said Oh Seong-hwan who is an attorney for Korean Intellectual Property Office.
Samsung is continuing to develop technologies that are related to ‘foldable phone’. Forbes announced last month that Samsung registered patents on ‘folding Smartphones into halves’ to U.S. Patent Office. These patents are continuations of patents on ‘scroll-type Smartphone’ and ‘expandable display’ that Samsung has been applying since end of last year. A fact that Samsung Electronics is internally developing Smartphones with a code name of ‘Project Valley’ and is planning to introduce them to next year’s Mobile World Congress is also told.

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<A patent related to ‘foldable phone’ that is applied with a concept of ‘robotic muscles’ registered by Samsung Electronics to U.S. Patent Office (Picture = Patently Apple)>

It seems that Smartphone manufacturers are looking for new businesses with ‘flexible Smartphones’. If ‘flexible displays’ are applied, bendable, rollable, and foldable Smartphones can be implemented. Apple registered total of 54 patents including patents that are related to flexible display in March of this year. According to an industry, it is predicted that Apple will use flexible OLED display for its new iPhone that is to come out next year, which will be Apple’ 10th year since releasing its first iPhone. Although LG Electronics introduced ‘G Flex 2’ that uses a flexible display, it is a Smartphone that only bends. Release date of ‘G Flex 3’ is still undecided. However LG Electronics introduced ‘Rolly Keyboard’ that implements ‘rollable’ technology.
China’s Moxi Group is also planning to sell ‘bendable Smartphones’ that can be worn on wrists by bending them by end of this year. Lenovo also introduced its prototype of a bendable Smartphone at ‘Tech World 2016’.
Industries are predicting that products with flexible displays such as foldable displays will completely change form factor (structure of hardware) of current Smart devices. “Because previous form factor changes when foldable phones are out, markets will go through reorganization.” said a representative for an industry. “Because businesses have to be prepared before corresponding products are released, actual commercialization might happen after next year.”
Staff Reporter Ham, Jihyeon | goham@etnews.com