A new Samsung patent describes a possible future Galaxy Z Fold support system that will better protect its large display in a fall event
Samsung was first with the Phablet form factor which started off slow in the market and is now the norm. Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold2 is another new form factor. Currently it's not exactly a runaway hit but could gain traction once the kinks are worked out, especially the fragility of its larger display. Last week a new patent filing from Samsung was published by the U.S. Patent Office that reveals a brand new display support system that could be in the works.
Samsung states in their patent filing that while a foldable display device has an advantage of a large screen, it also has a disadvantage in that a risk of damage and deformation due to an external impact is increased.
In particular, when the external impact is applied to a corner of the foldable display device, not only an area of the foldable display device, to which the impact is applied, but also a folding area of the foldable display device, to which the impact is transmitted.
The patent covers a method of preventing the damage. Exemplary embodiments of the invention provide a foldable display device in which a rail is disposed between a display panel and a support member, thereby preventing damage to the display panel caused by an external impact.
An exemplary embodiment of a foldable display device includes a first support member and a second support member separated from each other and each including a short side and a long side, a display module disposed on the first support member and the second support member.
Samsung's patent FIG. 4 below is an exploded perspective view illustrating an exemplary embodiment of the foldable display with new supports highlighted in yellow; FIG. 16 is a transparent plan view illustrating an exemplary embodiment of a state in which an external impact is applied to the foldable display device.
Samsung's patent FIG. 13 above is a perspective view illustrating a rail shown in FIG. 4; FIG. 14 is an exploded perspective view illustrating the rail shown in FIG. 13.
Samsung's patent FIG. 21 is an alternative design illustrating an exemplary embodiment of a state in which an external impact is applied to the foldable display device. Here, we see new corner support structures that could better protect the display in a fall event.
Samsung's patent FIG. 18 above is a perspective view illustrating an exemplary embodiment of a coupled state of a rail; FIG. 19 is an exploded perspective view illustrating the rail shown in FIG. 18.
With Samsung acknowledging that their Galaxy Z Fold2's display carry's a risk of damage and deformation in a fall event, it's expected that their new display support structures should be coming to market in the not-too-distant future. However, this is a patent and one never knows which patents that Samsung has prioritized for the future.
Though if you're thinking of purchasing a Galaxy Z Fold2, just know that Samsung is well aware that in a fall event, their large phone display is likely to get damaged badly, much more than their standard Galaxy phones because of the type of display being used in the Galaxy Z Fold2. It's just another reason to hold off on purchasing a $2,000 smartphone until this form factor has worked out more of its negative foibles.