Rumors about Samsung’s foldable smartphone have been swirling around for more than a year. The phone is nearing its launch. DJ Koh, the mobile business chief of Samsung, told media in September that the company was on track to unveil the foldable Galaxy X smartphone in 2018. Samsung has filed numerous patents related to the foldable smartphone design.
Foldable Galaxy X to have two screens
Folks at LetsGoDigital have discovered a new patent that Samsung has filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). According to patent documents, the foldable Galaxy X would sport not one but two large displays. They will be attached through a metal strip between them. The metal frame can fold in different ways to let customers fold the device in and out.
When the handset is not in use, the two screens could be folded together to protect the display from scratches. Once you open the device, you will be able to use both the screens simultaneously. You can also bend one screen in the back of the second one to interact with only one display at a time. LetsGoDigital added that the foldable Galaxy X includes three antennas to ensure that its foldable design does not interfere with the signal.
Another patent sheds light on the foldable phone’s interface
Samsung has been experimenting with a wide variety of foldable designs. One patent depicted a 5-inch smartphone folding out into a 7-inch tablet. The company has also developed a bendable screen that allows the phone’s display to bend at 90-degree. A more recent patent granted by the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) to Samsung shows a design similar to the patent the Korean company has filed with the WIPO.
The patent granted by KIPO described a foldable Galaxy X with two screens attached to a hinge in the center. The two screens have their own home screen, menu, and app switcher. Each screen is capable of running its own app in both the landscape and portrait modes. The patent also described a few use cases where the two screen would work seamlessly to offer a unique user experience.
One screen could serve the touchscreen controls when playing games while another would show you the gaming content. One screen could display the list of contacts, and another would show you a specific person’s contact card. The two-screen interface could also be used to show the rear camera viewfinder on one screen and the front camera viewfinder on the second one.
Foldable Galaxy X phone could be unveiled at CES
The foldable Galaxy X smartphone with model number SM-G888N0 has been spotted on multiple platforms online in the last few months, including on Samsung’s own website. The phone has been certified by the Korean Communication Commission (KCC). The “N0” in its model number suggests that it is the Korean version of the handset. The Bluetooth SIG and the WiFi Alliance have also certified Samsung’s foldable smartphone.
Samsung has confirmed that it plans to launch the foldable Galaxy X in 2018. The rumor mill claims we could get a glimpse of the device as early as next month at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Earlier this week, the Korean company rubbished rumors that it would unveil the Galaxy S9 at the CES, which improved the odds of the Galaxy X unveiling at the trade show.
Samsung already has a pretty tight release schedule for flagship smartphones, with the Galaxy S line being refreshed in the first half and the Galaxy Note in the second half of the year. Launching Galaxy X closer to either device could hurt the sales of Samsung’s flagship models. The company will reportedly launch the Galaxy X as a limited edition model in its home market to gauge the consumer response.
According to Phone Arena, Samsung will initially produce only 100,000 units of Galaxy X for the South Korean market. If the device receives a good response in Samsung’s home turf, it could launch in Western markets later in 2018 or 2019.