Only last week we heard reports that Samsung was planning to add S Pen stylus support to the Galaxy Z Fold 3, and now there's more evidence for the move via a patent filing that's just been published.
As spotted by LetsGoDigital, the Samsung Electronics patent shows a mobile device that folds in half and has stylus support. When not in use, the stylus slots into the body of the phone, as with the Samsung Galaxy Note series.
The obvious candidate for this tech would be the Galaxy Z Fold 3 – though we wouldn't read too much into the actual design of the device shown here, as it's probably just a generic placeholder for whatever Samsung's next foldable is going to look like.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 broke cover in August, so we could have a few months to wait before a successor appears. Based on earlier patents, it looks as though the hinge could be in for a significant overhaul in terms of design.
The patent also mentions electromagnetic resonance (EMR) tech, as used in the Note phones. There have been rumors that the foldable phones would use active electrostatic solution (AES) displays instead – it's pricier but better for flexibility.
Just because the patent doesn't mention AES doesn't mean it's not genuine though: this filing will have been months in the making, and from what we've heard so far it sounds as though Samsung still hasn't made up its mind on the matter anyway.
The usual caveat about patents applies: these documents don't show actual products, but rather ideas for products that companies are experimenting with. It might take years for Samsung to get this technology right, or it might not happen at all.
Add in the speculation about the Fold and Note series merging though, and it seems a stylus-equipped foldable is definitely something Samsung is keen on. If it doesn't get the mix right in 2021, we might see it happen in 2022.
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Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.