Samsung patents a new sliding screen foldable phone

Samsung is working on a new foldable smartphone that includes both a foldable and slidable mechanism to roll out the display, if a new patent filing at the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation) is to be believed. The sliding mechanism will then further extend the display, increasing the size of the screen to potentially a full tablet size, similar to what Samsung showed off earlier this year.

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The patent was filed back in June of this year, just a month after the Samsung Display Week where this technology was first teased, even though it was only made public this month. The patent description reads that it’s an “electronic device capable of folding and sliding operations.” Images were also included, which show off how a potential foldable device could work in practice.

The images appear to depict a device that has a similar foldable display to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, but also includes a sliding mechanism that extends the unfolded display. It looks like the additional screen real estate is tucked away behind the secondary display on the other panel. It is certainly an interesting design, but it might be impractical in the real world. It is likely to be even girthier than the current Fold 3.

What is also unclear is if the mechanism is powered and motorised or will be pulled apart by the user to extend the display.

Samsung is undoubtedly the leader in the foldable smartphone market at the end of 2021, but others are starting to challenge. Oppo recently announced the Find N, its take on a smaller, easier to handle version of the Z Fold 3.

While this type of device would certainly be very interesting and groundbreaking in some ways, the world isn’t ready for it yet. We need the foldable technology to improve and get cheaper so that it can gain mass adoption. Perhaps then, the consumers will be ready to move on to uncharted ground.