Samsung tablet with flexible display spotted in new design patent

May 19, 2013
    Samsung Youm OLED flexible display demoed at CES 2013.

    Samsung Youm OLED flexible display demoed at CES 2013.

    Samsung has been recently granted a design patent for a tablet PC that appears to have a bendable display.

    The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded Samsung a slew of patents earlier this week including two design patents for tablets. As always with patents – whether awarded or not – keep in mind that they do not portray actual products, and we may never see the devices shown in patent images come to life. But such patents indicate that Samsung is definitely exploring various tablet designs including slates with flexible displays or bendable areas. These patents have been both submitted for review last summer.

    That said, in these images you’ll be able to observe the two tablet designs awarded to Samsung. Patent number D682,264 (filed in June 2012) shows images of a “Tablet computer” that comes with a built-in case and a handle (second image below). In addition to the offered images, other details are not mentioned.

    samsung-design-patent-D682,263-1

    Samsung Design Patent D682,263 for a “Tablet PC” – filed in July 5, 2012 and granted on May 14, 2013.

    Most interestingly, patent D682,263 (filed in July 2012) shows a “Tablet PC” that appears to have a bendable display. As you can see in the image above, the tablet PC can be folded along the dotted line. However, the patent clearly states that the dotted lines are not parts of the claimed design:

    The broken lines shown in the figures represent portions of the tablet PC which form no part of the claimed design.

    Patent ‘263 isn’t offering any more details than patent ‘264 does, but what’s clear from the drawings is that the “tablet PC” has a screen with a flexible section. We can only speculate that the bendable part of the tablet’s display could act as some sort of a touchscreen keyboard, while also acting as a stand when users would hold the tablet in landscape mode on a surface. The rest of the display would presumably continue to act as a display.

    Interestingly, it’s not clear what the difference is between a “tablet computer” and a “tablet PC,” the two products described in these newly awarded patents.

    samsung-design-patent-D682,264-1

    Samsung Design Patent D682,264 for a “Tablet computer” – filed in June 20, 2012 and granted on May 14, 2013.

    As recent reports have shown, Samsung is not yet ready to mass-produce flexible displays in enough quantites to meet consumer needs. While still showing off its advancements in flexible display tech at consumer shows, Samsung is not yet ready to launch a product featuring such a panel. The company’s own JK Shin has more than once deflected a clear answer when asked about the first Samsung products featuring a flexible display.

    Most recently, when asked whether the Galaxy Note 3 would pack such a screen he said that more time is still needed without making other comments. Another report recently claimed that the Galaxy Note 3 would not feature a flexible display as previous rumors suggested.

    That said, we have no idea when a Samsung tablet with flexible display could arrive. So far this year, Samsung has announced two new tablets, the Galaxy Note 8.0 and the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0, with at least two more models rumored to arrive, the Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 and the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1. Rumors have also mentioned an 11-inch Nexus-branded Samsung tablet, which is yet to be confirmed.

    AA Staff contributed to this story.

    Comments

    • http://www.facebook.com/bjoy.saratorio Bjoy Recitas Saratorio

      samsung ftw…

    • http://twitter.com/LiiIiikEaBau5 LiiIiikEaBau5

      …and this will run Windows 9, LOL!

    • http://www.facebook.com/jumbo3220 Sanjaya Kanishka

      the 1st patent design looks great. it is manufacturerable. but what can Sammy do for screen protection? neither Gorilla nor schott glasses can bend that much.

      • ConceptVBS

        No need to use Gorilla glass if the screen’s substrate is made from plastic.

        Samsung already that technology.

        • Bone

          This. The plastic of the screen will serve as the protection rendering any glass or sapphire layered protection obsolete. I guess a screen protector will still come recommended.

          The device looks awesome BTW.

    • no rply

      samsung ll call it Galaxy briefcase

    • http://www.facebook.com/leonardob0880 Leonardo Baez

      looks like a provocation to apple to sue due design similitudes with original ibook

    • IHATEHIPSTERSSS

      Copying Apple again *sigh*

      • Ron

        WTH..dumbest thing I’ve heard all year. Apple had
        little to no hand in flex screens. As a matter of fact…here:

        “In 2010 at the
        Apple World Wide Developers Conference, Jobs touted Retina Display, which
        relies on traditional silicon LED technology. Jobs said, “You can’t make
        an OLED display with this resolution, we think it is quite superior.”

        So not only was he wrong and short sided, but you
        apple robots are trying to rewrite history. In fact neither apple nor Samsung
        are the “creators” of this type of technology.

        Xerox actually had the first concept of a flexible
        paper display in 1973. It wasn’t until the DuPont Company that it really took
        off in the last few years. If you want to learn some facts here… this way you
        don’t make blanket statements and look foolish.

        Oh and BTW “Samsung
        has previously been known for its position as a manufacturer of components such
        as lithium-ion batteries, semiconductors, chips, flash memory and hard drive devices
        for clients such as Apple, Sony, HTC and Nokia.[5] [6] In
        recent years, Samsung Electronics has actively expanded in consumer markets
        moving away from its manufacturing roots – marked by new products and
        increasing revenue.[7]”

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2013/04/26/samsungs-unbreakable-screen-another-bright-idea-to-battle-apple/

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_light-emitting_diode

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flexible_display

    • Nobody

      Stop the shit about copying, invent yourself something new, as current technique is so primitive and the same everytime

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