With smartphone performance equalizing and replacing cycles becoming longer, sales are becoming stagnant so 'foldable smartphones' are emerging as an alternative.
According to the smartphone industry on April 8, information technology companies such as Samsung Electronics, Apple, LG Electronics, Huawei and Microsoft are joining a patent battle related to foldable smartphones.
LG Electronics filed a patent on foldable smartphones in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 2016. But it is more appropriate to call the model a dual display smartphone than a foldable smartphone because it has two separate displays. In addition, last August, LG Electronics applied for a foldable smartphone design patent.
Samsung Electronics has long envisioned a foldable smartphone for a long time. In 2011, Samsung Electronics unveiled a prototype of a foldable smartphone, which did not damage the display even after being folded 100,000 times and the brightness of the folded part dropped only 6%.
At the CES 2013, the world's largest information technology (IT) exhibition held in Las Vegas in January 2013, Samsung Electronics received good responses by taking the wrap off a prototype of a foldable smartphone called 'Youm.' Samsung Electronics presented the future of foldable smartphones with the 'Galaxy Note Edge' in 2014 with a curved display as a preliminary step. Afterwards, a rumor went around that Samsung Electronics was developing a foldable smartphone under the name 'Project Valley.'
As if to prove it, Samsung Display attracted attention by exhibiting its rolled-up display at the International Information Display Society (SID) 2016, the world's largest display event.
To be able to mass-produce foldable smartphones, their internal parts should not be damaged when they are folded. It is said that to this end, Samsung Electronics filed a patent on moving internal parts of a folded part to a non-folded part when a display is folded. In addition, Samsung Electronics has filed various patents on foldable smartphones.
Recently, there has been a rumor that Samsung Electronics created the brand name 'Galaxy X' of its foldable phone and the foldable phone will be launched next year.