An innovative hinge system allows the screen to fold up into a little pocket, where it curves around and avoids being fully bent or creased. When unfolded, the screen goes flat and the phone acts just like a typical, non-folding smartphone. It seems potentially ingenious.
What the latest patent application shows is how charging will function. Rather than have a port on the bottom of the phone, the foldable device’s charging contact will be found in the outer hinge, which is exposed when you fold the phone closed. The application shows a little dock that you can pop the phone onto when charging it, which you can see over at Patently Mobile.
That design approach might prevent you from using the phone when charging, however, much like a smartwatch – but it’ll save precious component space for this new kind of phone shape.
It all looks pretty clever, although we’ll have to see whether the flexible screen and foldable design present any usability issues – or whether the price ends up being utterly astronomical. The Galaxy X rumour suggests a release in 2017.