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Samsung will add a third foldable device to its smartphone lineup this year that will likely feature a unique rollable form factor, according to a reliable leaker of Samsung's plans.
oppo-x-rollable.jpg
Oppo X 2021 rollable phone concept


The existing Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 3 have been relatively successful additions to Samsung's smartphone family, and the company reportedly plans to ship over 10 million foldables in 2022 with successor models to the Flip 3 and Fold 3, along with a third unnamed addition to its foldable lineup.

The codenames that Samsung is using internally for the models expected this year are said to include B4, Q4, and N4, with B4 and Q4 believed to relate to the Z Flip 4 and Z Fold 4, respectively, and the N4 referring to a completely new device.

Mobile leaker @UniverseIce, who is a well-regarded source of Samsung rumors, today claimed that Samsung's third foldable device is set for release in the second half of the year. However, the leaker believes the codename of the new device is in fact "Diamond" and says it has a "high probability" of having a rollable form factor. Responding to the claim, reputable display analyst Ross Young said he last heard that production of the device had been pushed out beyond 2022, and that he would now seek to confirm if that was still an accurate assessment.

Rollable/slidable phones don't yet exist on the consumer market, but plenty of concept devices have been advertised by mobile makers as they search for the next big innovation in smartphone technology. The Oppo X is a case in point. It used a motorized powertrain mechanism to unroll or extend the screen uniformly while avoiding visible kinks or folds in the display.

The Oppo X 2021 was the first rollable phone that was expected to come to market, but the device was never made available, although Oppo apparently has plans to release an updated version this year. Samsung also showed off a concept smartphone with a slidable OLED display in 2021, but it wasn't tied to a real consumer product launch.

Apple has explored rollable displays in the past, based on patents from the company. In March 2020, a patent attributed to Apple appeared on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that describes an "Electronic device with flexible display structures."

apple-patent-rollable-display.jpg
Apple patent


The patent details a flexible display that can be wrapped around one or more internal roller mechanisms, allowing the screen to expand out of the chassis. A rigid section remains to house the printed circuit boards and other electronic components, but with the addition of the rollable display layers.

"Elongated bistable support members may run along the edges of the display or may be overlapped by a central active area of the display to help stiffen and support the display in its extended position," explains the patent, which conceives the technology as adaptable to anything from a smartphone to a smartwatch.

As with all Apple patents, there's no indication that Apple has plans to bring such a device to market, but it is interesting to see what sorts of future solutions Apple is eyeing as it seeks to innovate beyond current consumer-use technologies and compete with future generations of devices with hybrid form factors.

Article Link: Samsung Rumored to Launch First 'Rollable' Foldable Phone Later This Year
 
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dannyyankou

macrumors G4
Mar 2, 2012
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This could fix some of the problems foldable phones have (crease)

Although if it's anything like the Oppo concept, I can easily see debris getting stuck inside, leading to problems.
 
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jonnysods

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Sep 20, 2006
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As long as you could pull the scroll out of your pocket and see your notifications, and not have to unroll it, see that it wasn't important, and roll it up again.

There may be an application for this that I'm not seeing - but think about how many people use their phone each day, and take it from their pocket. Now add rolling it up, and unrolling it.
 

bookofxero

macrumors 6502
Dec 31, 2017
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There was an e-reader (Readius) with a rollable display around 2008/2009, but they ended up going bankrupt. LG has recently released the OLED TV R. I just wonder how much farther along things could be if there was not a decade of seeming inertia that needed to be overcome.
 
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FreakinEurekan

macrumors 68040
Sep 8, 2011
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Agreed - I’d love a phone-sized device that I can use “most of the time” without unrolling it, but be able to extend it for reading, viewing photos, seeing a bigger map, etc.

Not willing to switch to Android for it, but it’d be great to see in the iPhone XVI or so ;)
 
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Jamie0003

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Apr 17, 2009
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As long as you could pull the scroll out of your pocket and see your notifications, and not have to unroll it, see that it wasn't important, and roll it up again.

There may be an application for this that I'm not seeing - but think about how many people use their phone each day, and take it from their pocket. Now add rolling it up, and unrolling it.
Smart watches exist that perform this function way better
 
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jimbobb24

macrumors 68020
Jun 6, 2005
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This actually sounds pretty cool! You gotta give credit to Samsung for pushing the boundaries, a far cry from Apple’s way of business.
Selling products that lose money? Apple has a rollable phone, a folding phone and a hundred other products they are trying. But they are experimenting with them not releasing them half baked or absurdly overpriced (although might have to eat my words if they release some ridiculous head set).
 

Aston441

macrumors 68000
Sep 16, 2014
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I think they should release a phone with multiple screens that are like pages in a book, so you can just flip them over and look at the different screens just like pages in a magazine. This would be great for porn and advertisements, and that's where it's at these days. That's what internet is for now. Porn and advertisements. Well also mind manipulation and suppression of thinking bad and unhealthy things. A magazine phone is the ultimate expression of modern internet.
 

Macative

macrumors 6502a
Mar 7, 2022
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Samsung's smartphone family, and the company reportedly plans to ship over 10 million foldables in 2022

Ship does not equal sell with Samsung. Samsung will produce and distribute 10 million foldables into their channels. And most of them will sit on shelves or in boxes. If they sell 2 million of them it will be a miracle. And that's merely the size of the tech review market.
 

RedTheReader

macrumors 6502
Nov 18, 2019
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Erm…..aren’t the current foldable devices a POS? Fix that first Samsung ? and they make fun of Apple for making dumb decisions
Remember Apple’s whole Butterfly keyboard debacle? Well, imagine if instead of returning to scissor they had released an improved version with more key travel to fix it on future models.

Now imagine making this exact same comment about that release. That’s what you’re doing here. This is the fix for the current foldables’ main issues. It’s not something new for the sake of being new.
 

saudor

macrumors 65816
Jul 18, 2011
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if its reliable, of course...but if its not, i dont call it innovation
Innovation should be something different , easy to use, better for the consumer...so reliability is a must
Gotta start somewhere. Without Samsung, we would still have 3.5” iPhones and 4gb storage for $1999
iPadOS is the result of no competition. Saw the same with intel before Ryzen
 

alexe

macrumors regular
Nov 5, 2014
197
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The main problem with all of these is that the display is just never entirely flat and even. There is always a crease or some unevenness.

It does seem like a way better concept than a foldable phone though, I'll give them that.
 
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