The launch of Samsung's first foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Fold, didn't quite go according to plan. The company was forced to delay its launch after several review units were reported to be faulty. Samsung took back all of the review units and is now preparing for its release after making some improvements.
The in-folding design isn't the only one Samsung has considered for foldable smartphones. It has also considered the idea of an out-folding device as evidenced by a newly published patent, which was originally filed in the US towards the end of last year and in Korea in December 2015. The Galaxy Fold is an inward folding smartphone which warrants a secondary cover display for use when the device is folded.
Samsung patents an out-folding smartphone
Samsung is already said to be working on two new foldable smartphones. One of them will have a clamshell-like vertically folding design, while the other will fold outwards. Samsung reportedly created outward folding prototypes since it was one of the designs shortlisted for the Galaxy Fold.
The patent describes the device to consist of a flexible display mounted on two separate cases joined by a hinge with a sliding mechanism. On folding, the slide cover slides along a rail groove allowing the display to fold outwards evenly. There's also a locking unit to keep the display firm when the device is unfolded. It is, however, worth noting that Samsung may well opt for a different folding mechanism for its out-folding smartphone.
We've already seen what a foldable smartphone can bring to the table with the first generation Galaxy Fold. And it's only a matter of time before we see more of them. Samsung may very well expand the lineup to include both in-folding and out-folding designs.