Samsung has been rumored to be working on a double-folding smartphone for a while now. On two separate occasions back in 2019, we reported about Samsung patenting its own take on the double-folding design, and late in 2020, OLED research firm UBI Research mentioned that the company is prepping three types of foldable phones, two of which have already made their way to the market with the Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Z Flip family. Now, another report from Nikkei Asia mentions that Samsung is working on a double-folding smartphone.
“The South Korean tech giant plans to release the new generations of its Galaxy Z Flip and Galaxy Z Fold phones this year, sources said, and is also working on a double-folding phone that could be unveiled as early as the end of this year, according to three sources. Samsung has filed multiple patents for a double-hinged design.”
The South Korean electronics giant has previously said that it will diversify its portfolio of foldable smartphones in 2021, and aims to make the category more accessible. We’ve been hearing chatter about a Galaxy Z Fold Lite lately as well, and a double-folding device seems like the next frontier. Now, Samsung won’t be the first to take a crack at a double-folding foldable phone. TCL showcased a working double-folding concept a year ago, a device that folded twice like a ‘Z’, and Xiaomi has showcased its vision too with a different take on this form factor.
Coming to Samsung’s plans of a double-folding smartphone, concepts based on patents filed by the company show two different implementations. The first one shows a device whose screen bends in two opposite directions to create a wavy ‘Z’ profile, similar to TCL’s vision. The other one shows a design where the sides fold backward and their edges meet around the rear panel, just like Xiaomi’s version of a double-folding phone.
A double-folding design will allow Samsung to cram in more screen real estate, which is likely going to be significantly larger than the nearly 8-inch foldable panel of the Galaxy Z Fold 2. Right now, details are slim as to what this double-folding Samsung phone will be called, and the innards it will bring to the table. What we can safely assume is that the company will employ the proprietary Ultra-Thin Glass (UTG) solution for its innovative device. And if the Galaxy Z Fold line-up is any indication, it won’t be cheap either and will have a niche uptake.