Samsung Plans Triple-Screen Phone

John Lister's picture

Samsung has got approval for a patent on a phone with a double-folding mechanism. It would effectively be a tablet computer that fits in the pocket.

The company already has a range of foldable phones with a single hinge, meaning a double-width screen. The new patent is for a double-hinge with one folding forward and one folding backward, a little like a "zed bed" mechanism. (Source:

The patent shows that the screens would be arranged so that an "ordinary" size screen was usable when the phone was fully folded. When the phone was unfolded, the entire display would be accessible.

Screen Could Be Nearly Nine Inches Wide

The "rear" of the phone would house a camera that was usable in both folded and unfolded mode. There'd also be a small display below the camera. This would mean users could frame and take self-portraits without the need for a separate camera built into the main display.

Based on existing Samsung handsets, the giant screen would be around 8.7 inches wide and 6 inches high. One drawback is that at this width, a normal widescreen image would only be around 5 inches high.

The patent doesn't address this, so possibilities could include a different-sized device, an unusual aspect ratio on the screen, or reserving an inch or so at the bottom of the screen to use for control buttons.

Chunky Unit a Pocket-Stuffer

Patents don't always mean a company will turn the design into a real product, but the detail on the application suggests Samsung has put some serious work into it. The design documents show how the components would be arranged, with two separate batteries and room for a dedicated HDMI socket to connect the phone to a TV or monitor.

One obvious drawback is the bulk of the phone in fully-folded mode. The dimensions of the device are unclear at the moment, but based on existing standard and foldable Samsung phones, it's likely such a design would be the best part of one inch thick.

What's Your Opinion?

Do you think this phone will ever be a reality? Would it be worth a premium cost to have a single device replace a phone and tablet? Would the thickness of the phone deter users?

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buzzallnight's picture

Do you think this phone will ever be a reality? Yes

Would it be worth a premium cost to have a single device replace a phone and tablet?
Cellphone prices are totally insane
they cost about $150 to $200 to make and sell for $1,500.00 WTF??????????

Would the thickness of the phone deter users? No
Many people do not use cellphones because they are too small to do anything useful with.

beach.boui's picture

If it fits in a pocket, it will likely succeed. The only thing really new with cell phones is that they keep getting more expensive, with no dramatic change. Screen size is a severe limitation, IMHO. Of course, this from an old guy, practically a fossil. The twenty-something demo may have a different perspective. But, they're pretty clueless of much outside of their own little "its all about me" world.

I tend to agree, in principal, with buzzallnight's post.

buzzallnight's picture

I really think we need to come up with another way
to carry large and folding cellphones besides putting them in your pocket.
Maybe go back to the old belt clip
or some kind of a wearable at least when it is not being used.
Maybe build it into a hat?
I suppose the fanny pack that is usually in front would work,
then you could use it for a body cam like the police have
and make it bullet proof with a hard ceramic case
and it could be personal protection too
with all these people getting shot these days....

Eventually these items may become as big as a small and light laptop
when they have six folding screens and bigger batteries..

beach.boui's picture

I'm a bit surprised that modern clothing isn't more portable device friendly. Some of my summer shorts have a cell pocket, but nothing else. Shirt pockets haven't gotten larger. Nor have back pockets on your trousers. Back pockets aren't the best place to carry an expensive cell phone, anyway. Pretty easy to crack one in half if you squat to pick something up or sit on it wrong. I don't know what the answer is, but someone will figure it out and profit from it.

Unrecognised's picture

Nano-chip with wiring into brain :)
Easy to carry.

Oh and maybe with a giant universal socket installed at back of neck.

They'll do that when they can; no doubt.

eric's picture

Someone wake me when we get a hand terminal like what they have in The Expanse (including holographic expansion display), or when we get true fully foldable/crumbleable handheld computing device (basically digital paper that you can wad up, with no breakable area).

Until either of those, it's all boring remixes of the same old stuff since 2009.