Samsung is apparently working on a new style of foldable phone – and it could be that it releases a future Z-series entry that, when viewed from a certain angle, actually resembles the letter Z.
A patent shared on Twitter shows a foldable phone with three hinged sections that enable the device to be folded in a zigzag shape, as if it were a shower screen.
Patent for Samsung's Triple Fold releasedIt's a smartphone with a three-sided screen and two hinges that folds into a zigzag shape like a folding screen. pic.twitter.com/4MNL6HxanvMay 3, 2023
While even the best foldable phones have yet to set the world on fire, it's still early days for these devices, and it makes sense that Samsung would continue to innovate with potential new designs.
Practicality? What’s that?
Samsung's patents, like those of any brand, are often explorations of new concepts, and not every idea sees the light of day. And while a triple-fold phone like the one pictured in the patent might look cool, we have some questions about how it would work in practice.
What would be the point of such a device? Perhaps it could be a paucity of imagination on my behalf, but this seems like it’ll be more cool than useful for most. We can imagine that artists and architects could see value in a device like that, but those haven't been enough to make the Z Fold sell iPhone numbers.
And let’s not forget, Samsung's foldables still are susceptible to physics. The first Fold was prone to shattering, and the more moving parts a device has, the more points of failure are introduced.
These are things that Samsung would want to address before bringing a new folding phone design to the market. However, just because a device does make it to store shelves, doesn’t necessarily mean that every problem has been solved – as the aforementioned original Galaxy Fold demonstrated. Still, as a patent, all it needs to be is novel, and that’s certainly true in this case.
Samsung has floated other interesting foldable ideas we’ve written about in the past. These have included an entry with rotating camera module and a wild slideable, along with rollable and dual fold concepts. When it comes to bringing devices to market, though, Samsung has stuck to its clamshell and book-style foldables for the time being, so it may be a while before we see the South Korean company produce something like the Motorolas’ rollable phone concept.