Triple-Display Phones On Way

John Lister's picture

Phone screens that fold in half may soon be yesterday's news. Two smartphone giants are both reportedly working on triple foldable phones.

Huawei and Samsung have both previously filed patents for relevant technology. Now reports suggest Samsung will release a model later this year while Huawei may beat it to the punch with a release somewhere between April and June. The reports have been fuelled partly by orders placed with component manufacturers in Taiwan. (Source:

While Huawei may be first to market, Samsung would have a major advantage in the US market. That's because the US currently bans any new Huawei devices from import and sale in the country on security grounds. It's also difficult to officially run any Google services on Huawei devices.

Tablet-Like Display

The phones would likely fold out horizontally to produce a giant widescreen display. Neither model's size has been confirmed but as a point of comparison, a screen in the region of six inches diagonal is common today. A triple foldout phone of the same height and width would have a display somewhere in the region of nine by five inches, slightly bigger than the iPad mini tablet.

Based on the patent filings, the folding mechanism would likely have one hinge such that the front of the device folded out to the left and another hinge so that the back of the device folded out to the right. That could allow different combinations such as two normal phone size displays, or one normal display and one double-width display, each showing different content. (Source:

Questions Remain

With most previous fold out designs, the main question has been whether the benefit of a larger screen size is outweighed by reduced durability on the hinged sections, and by the almost inevitable increase in thickness and weight. There's also the question of how much of a price premium such devices would carry.

In this case, another big question is whether effectively being able to carry a tablet computer in a pocket would be a more significant and practical advantage than simply getting a double-sized phone display.

What's Your Opinion?

Have you used a foldout phone? Would you be interest in a triple-fold display? Would it make enough of a difference in every day use to be more than a gimmick?

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doulosg's picture

A typo, or a way of describing screen size by its arc around the hinges? <grin>

John Lister's picture

Thanks for letting us know about this - we've now fixed the typo.

kevinb478's picture

I've seen the foldable phones but my question is how long will the screen last after numerous times of opening it up and folding it after a few years of continuous use will it still work or not I think they are nice when you need a larger screen but I don't think that the screen will last and then you'll end up having to get a new phone

Chief's picture

Before I purchased my Galaxy Z Flip 3, I was worried about the foldable screen as well until I saw a youtube of a fellow who tested out Samsung's claim of "15,000" folds.

He built a contraption that folded the phone constantly for 15,000 cycles.
Phone still worked and screen did not crack, although the tension spring to keep it tightly closed failed.

I've had my phone over a year now and the screen replaced under warranty as it had a manufacturer defect, but other than that, I'm quite pleased with foldable ability and think it will be a definite player in days ahead.