We are all aware of the issues Samsung is facing with the Galaxy Fold. However, these setbacks are apparently not stopping the Korean firm from experimenting with a new form factor. Samsung has patented a design for a rollable smartphone many are calling the “Samsung Galaxy Roll” (a name coined by techradar).
What might the Samsung Galaxy Roll be like?
Samsung’s latest patent, which was unearthed by LetsGoDigital, details a device with a vertically scrolling display. According to the patent, the display can slide in and out from the phone’s body. The patent was filed on Nov. 28, 2018 with the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO), but it was published only last week.
The patent is for an “Electronic device comprising a flexible display having an expandable display area is disclosed.” The patent says the screen is a flexible display which is mounted on the slider in a way that exposes some part of it. The display area can be extended based on the “withdrawal of the slider” and “allow the expanded display area to be concealed in the housing according to the entrance of the slider.”
The drawings in the patent reveal a vertically extended handset. The user can significantly increase the screen size using the flexible display on the roller. To give you an idea, the screen appears to extend to become about 60% larger than the original screen. To protect the extra display from scratches and dust when it’s not in use, it rolls up and hides behind the enclosure.
Samsung’s patent suggests the use of a side button or a manual, semi-automatic or automatic system for the sliding mechanism. The display ratio of the so-called “Samsung Galaxy Roll” or whatever it might be called would be different from that of the Galaxy Fold. Instead, the ratio would be more like the cinematic 21:9 aesthetic seen on the Sony Xperia 1.
New design, but not new technology
As far as other design features of the Samsung Galaxy Roll, the phone’s receiver, an LED indicator and the camera system are seen fitted in the upper bezel.
Although the patent reveals an innovative way to extend the screen size, the overall shape of the handset, which is a wedge, looks a bit odd. Nevertheless, it is just a patent filing for now with no information on if Samsung is actually working on such a design. There is also no surety that Samsung will actually work on a rollable design.
Tech companies regularly file patents, but not all patents turn into a final product. However, rollable display technology is not new for Samsung. The company has already patented a similar design for TVs and tablets. Rollable technology itself is not a new concept either. Last month, LG patented a design for a rollable phone display.
When is the Galaxy Fold coming?
Meanwhile, the wait for the Galaxy Fold continues. The foldable phone was unveiled alongside the Galaxy S10 in February with much fanfare. The handset is priced just under $2,000 and was originally scheduled to launch in April. However, after issues were reported with the review units, Samsung recalled them all.
The issues reported were mostly related to screen malfunctions, suggesting the foldable display was prone to damage easily. Samsung revealed later that the issues with the Galaxy Fold have been taken care of. However, the company has yet to announce a new release date for the device.
CNET reported recently that a Samsung spokesperson confirmed in an email that an announcement regarding the new launch date for the Galaxy Fold will be made in the “coming weeks.” Although this is no firm timeline, it at least reasserts Samsung’s commitment to launching its ultra-premium foldable phone.
On the other hand, rumors suggest the Galaxy Fold won’t arrive until at least July. Considering that we are almost halfway through June, July looks a likely contender for the release. However, Samsung Mobile Chief DJ Koh said last month that the launch “would not be too late.”
Many feel the delay in the launch could affect demand for the device. However, the delays may not have much impact on Samsung’s bottom line as the Galaxy Fold is not a high-volume device. Still, it is a matter of prestige for Samsung. The Korean firm needs to prove that it can come up with a new form factor that is usable as well.