Samsung wins a 'Fold-Out' Foldable Smartphone Patent which is an alternative Design to the current 'Galaxy Fold'
Samsung unveiled their first generation foldable smartphone simply called the Galaxy Fold on February 20, 2019. Then in April, just as the 'Galaxy Fold' was preparing to launch in the U.S. via AT&T, defects with the folding display surfaced from U.S. reviewers that ended up forcing Samsung to delay their official public launch. While we wait for Samsung to announce a new launch date for the Galaxy Fold, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a granted patent for Samsung relating to an alternative folding smartphone based on a 'Fold-Out' smartphone design. Our cover graphic illustrates a Fold-Out form factor.
Samsung's granted patent describes an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, a foldable display apparatus that is adjustable between a folded configuration and an unfolded configuration includes a flexible display panel that is foldable; a case including a first case that supports a first side of the flexible display panel and a second case that supports a second side of the flexible display panel; a link member connecting the first case to the second case; and a locking unit configured to prevent rotation of the first case and the second case in a folding direction when the foldable display apparatus is in the unfolded configuration.
The locking unit may include a slide cover rotatably coupled to the first case and slidably coupled to the second case; and a locking lever rotatably mounted on the second case and configured to prevent sliding of the slide cover when the locking lever is in a locked position.
The slide cover may slide along a rail groove in the second case when the first case and the second case are rotated to move the foldable display apparatus between the folded configuration and the unfolded configuration. Rotation of the first and second cases may be inhibited when movement of the slide cover along the rail groove is blocked.
Samsung's patent FIG. 3A below is a rear surface perspective view showing an unfolded and unlocked state of the foldable display apparatus.
In FIG. 3A, the locking lever #600 may rotate in a direction indicated by arrow 'A' on the second case #220, and the slide cover #500 may slide in a direction indicated by arrow B.
Samsung's patent FIG. 5D illustrates a 'Fold-Out' smartphone form factor. Samsung's First Gen 'Galaxy Fold' is considered a 'Fold-In' smartphone form factor.
Samsung's granted patent issued this week by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office was originally filed in the U.S. in Q3 2018 while it being filed in Korea in December 2015.
Our cover graphic represents a 'Fold-Out' folding smartphone design that was known to be a Lenovo prototype.