Samsung might be one step closer to its first rollable phone

Samsung might be one step closer to its first rollable phone

For the past couple of years, foldable phones have managed to win their own place on the market, with the two most popular examples being Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Z Fold 3. In fact, combined together, the sales of these two bad boys amount to over 7 million, or in other words 60% of the global foldable market. Now, we all know that saying “don’ t fix what’s not broken,” right? Well, Samsung doesn’t. Or maybe it does, but it is not really known as a company that always tries to play it safe. Of course, you have your usual run-of-the-mill smartphone with the Galaxy “S” series, but the company also likes to dabble in new innovative technology on the side. After all, that is what brought us the now-famous “Z” series. On that note, it seems that Samsung is gearing up to introduce another form factor to its smartphone lineup—a rollable phone, ie a phone with a display that rolls out and back in. Samsung already teased this last year, and three newly awarded patents are now hinting that Samsung might be picking the pace up. Check them out below:

The first design shows what looks like a screen that extends vertically, with some of the text describing this design as more cost-effective regarding the manufacturing process. That being said, this one doesn’t really look like a winner here, as the aspect ratio it would result in would be arguably impractical.

The second patent showcases a more realistic display design that rolls out sideways. Having the display extended horizontally means a screen size ratio that is closer to that of most of the entertainment we enjoy on our phones throughout the day, like YouTube videos and games.

The third patent also has images of a display that can extend horizontally, however, it is a design that focuses on how a rollable/sliding display could be paired up with the phone’s cameras and how the two could work together. Moreover, it goes into ways of simplifying the design to reduce power loss and free up space inside the device.

Foldable phones seem to be doing well. Why not stick with them?

We are three generations in on the Galaxy Z Fold series, and Samsung has already made a legacy with it. While it might not have technically been the first foldable phone, it was the first to create the wave that pushed other manufacturers to enter this segment too.

So why would Samsung go after the rollable form factor if the current foldables are doing great? Well, first of all, a rollable Galaxy does not necessarily mean that the current Fold and Flip would disappear. Samsung could just add it as a third option for customers to choose from.

Second, a rollable display opens up possibilities like eliminating the crease that the current models are known for or making the phone thinner and easier to hold. For example, the Oppo X (2021), which is the first rollable phone (that’s right, Oppo beat Samsung to the race), is only 6.9 mm (0.27-inch) thick, while the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is 14.4 mm (0.56-inch) thick when folded.

Whether rollable displays are overall better than foldable or even regular ones remains to be seen. Right now, it is not really clear what the future holds for this tech. What is certain, though, is that one of the top manufacturers with a history of innovation in flexible displays is still taking a keen interest in developing new form factors, some of which we might talk about the same way we do about current foldables.

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