Image credit: Samsung/US Patent Office
There's a new patent (opens in new tab) out for Samsung featuring a smartphone with a screen that wraps around the edge and partly onto the back of the device, as discovered by LetsGoDigital (opens in new tab).
The patent was originally filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in September of last year, but wasn't published until today.
The patent contains 10 diagrams, but doesn't say much else about the device. It certainly doesn't explain what the point of the wraparound screen would be, which only goes about halfway around the back of the phone.
At the very least you can see some app icons drawn onto the illustration of the display, some sitting right on the edge. That's gotta be hard to click on.
That's a wrap
This isn't an entirely new concept. In fact, Apple secured a patent for a phone with a wraparound display of its own last year, three years after it was granted a very similar patent in 2013. LG also won a patent for a phone with an "ornamental" wraparound screen earlier this year.
In Apple's case, though, the OLED screen used for the device wraps entirely around the whole phone. Weirdly, it's not immediately obvious where you'd put the camera on any of Apple's, Samsung's or LG's proposed devices.
Samsung in particular is known for bringing this kind of experimental technology to its phones. Long before this, for instance, there was also the Samsung Galaxy Round, which featured a curved display.
The latest patent is also not the first time that we've used the word "wraparound" in reference to a Samsung smartphone screen: that honor would go to the Galaxy Note Edge. The Galaxy Note Edge, though, wasn't a true wraparound as we see in the current patent, as the screen merely extended over the edges of the grips rather than around to the back. Samsung would also use this concept for the Galaxy S7.
One of the most memorable patents, for instance, dealt with a fordable smartphone, and there are credible rumors floating about that we may actually see the long-awaited device in the form of the so-called "Samsung Galaxy X "at CES 2018.