For a long time we watched smartphone manufacturers work towards the goal of devices with no bezels or minimal bezels at most. It seemed to be one of those goals that was always right around the corner. During 2017 the barriers to bezel-less designs finally fell with several devices and manufacturers hitting the market with smartphones that seem to meet the consumer’s definition of no bezels. Now we look at what is next and that could very well be foldable devices. A new patent from Samsung for a foldable tablet is the latest sign of what may be coming to the market in the near future.
The concepts for foldable displays that could be incorporated into a mobile device have been floating around for several years. As far back as 2014 Samsung was producing sample advertising concepts for a foldable tablet and two years prior to that they had bendable display prototypes. Some of the display concepts have included devices like items that wrap around a user’s wrist along with more traditional items like phones and tablets.
More recently the focus has shifted to smartphones. The buzz only increased when Samsung confirmed plans to release a smartphone incorporating a foldable display in 2018. That was accompanied by rumors of the Samsung Galaxy X being that device.
A new entry found in the KIPRIS – Korean Intellectual Property Rights Information Service – from November 6th shows a patent for a foldable tablet from Samsung. A tablet device with a bendable display has not come up in any of the recent discussions or rumors surrounding Samsung’s plans for 2018, though it would not be that big of a surprise for the company to pursue such a device.
Along with Samsung, Lenovo appears to also be on track to bring both a foldable smartphone and a tablet to market in 2018. Will next year prove to be the year when foldable devices finally become a reality for the consumer?