In recent years, foldable phones have managed to take their own place in the market, with the two most popular examples being Samsung’s. Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Z Fold 3. In fact, together, the sales of these two villains exceed 7 million, or in other words 60% of the global folding market. Now we all know that saying “don’t fix what ain’t broke”, right? We will, Samsung does not. Or maybe it is, but it’s not really known as a company that always tries to play it safe. Of course you have your usual average smartphone with the Galaxy “S” series, but the company also likes to dabble in new innovative technology. After all, that’s what brought us the now famous “Z” series. On that note, it looks like Samsung is gearing up to introduce another form factor to its smartphone lineup: a roll-up phone, i.e. a phone with a screen that rolls out and back in. Samsung already teased this last year, and three newly granted patents now indicate that Samsung may be picking up the pace. 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 being more cost effective with regard to the manufacturing process. That said, this one doesn’t really look like a winner here, as the aspect ratio it would deliver would be arguably impractical.
The second patent shows a more realistic display design that rolls out sideways. When the screen is extended horizontally, it means a screen size ratio that is closer to most of the entertainment we enjoy on our phones all day, such as YouTube videos and games.
The third patent also has images of a display that can extend horizontally, but it’s a design that focuses on how a roll-up/slide display can pair with the phone’s cameras and how the two can work together. In addition, it discusses ways to simplify the design to reduce power loss and free up space in the device.
Foldable phones seem to be doing well. Why don’t you stay with them?
We’ve been working on the Galaxy Z Fold series for three generations and Samsung has already made a legacy with it. While it may not technically have been the first foldable phone, it was the first to create the wave that prompted other manufacturers to enter this segment as well.
So why would Samsung go after the rollable form factor when current foldables are doing a great job? Well, first of all, a rollable Galaxy doesn’t 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 roll-up display opens up possibilities like eliminating the creases that current models are known for or making the phone thinner and easier to hold. For example the Oppo X (2021), the first roll-up phone (that’s right, Oppo beat Samsung in the race), is just 6.9mm (0.27-inches) thick, while the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is 14.4 mm (0.56 in) thick when folded.
Whether rollable displays are generally better than foldable or even regular displays remains to be seen. At this point, it’s not really clear what the future holds for this technology. What is certain is that one of the top manufacturers with a history of innovation in flexible displays still has a lot of interest in developing new form factors, some of which we can talk about in the same way that we can talk about current foldable displays. .