Samsung had to delay the Galaxy Fold's original release date after the screens on some initial units broke, bulged, or stopped working entirely. While the world waits with bated breath for a new release date, it turns out Samsung is working on another type of display altogether.
As illustrated in a just-surfaced patent, instead of a folding display, this one wraps around the phone, covering the front, folding around the top, and then wrapping near the entire rear of the phone.
Samsung Patents Wraparound Display
The patent was first spotted by Let's Go Digital. A wraparound smartphone display would make for some interesting concepts, such as letting subjects see how they look while taking a photo, or showing live language translation on the rear display when traveling abroad. The latter example is potentially the most interesting of all, as it would let each party speak while the other views the translation — that is, without needing to flip the screen around at all.
The wraparound display is activated by hovering one's hand or an S Pen over it. Since there's a display on the back, there would be no need for a front-facing camera — just turn the phone around and capture rear-camera-quality selfies. Notifications, messages, and other stuff can also be shown on the top edge, which could be useful for quickly glancing at the phone without necessarily taking it out of one's pocket.
The idea of a rear display isn't really new — the Vivo Nex Dual Display has one, although this is a separate display, not a continuous one. Samsung's concept imagines just a single display stretches all the way to the back, which is significantly different. The concept even goes further back to 2017 with the Meizu Pro 7, which had a rear display but a tiny one and, again, separate from the main screen up front.
Other Potential Features Of A Rear Display
In any case, there are a lot of potential benefits to having a screen on the back. Vivo, for instance, has already come up with a posing feature called Pose Detector, which gives the subject suggestions for poses from an image library. It might even be used for gaming — imagine a pinball game where the machine stretches to the rear display, meaning it would have to be played by flipping the device back and forth.
Don't count on these ideas too much, though — a patent isn't always a guarantee that the concept will be realized. Often it's just a preemptive document to prevent others from stealing the idea. Still, a wraparound would be pretty rad.