Patents for foldable mobile devices have been cropping up quite frequently over the past few years, but whether any of the designs will ever make it to market remains unclear.
One of the most prolific filers of these kind of patents is Samsung, which has long been rumoured to be working on flexible displays and bendy phones.
And now a new report from South Korea’s ETNews claims the company is working on two different foldable phones, with very different designs.
Related: CES 2017
According to the report, Sammy is following a “two-track strategy” with these handsets, and will release one device with a dual-screen setup that comes with a display on either side of a hinge, and another with a fully flexible OLED display.
It’s also claimed that the South Korean firm will release the former device first to gauge consumer response, before deciding on whether to push ahead with the flexible OLED option.
The dual-screen phone is said to be set for a 2017 release, too, though the report claims there will be a ‘small amount’ produced at first.
Last month, Dutch Samsung blog Galaxy Club seemingly unearthed a Samsung patent for a foldable smartphone, with image renders showcasing an elongated flat form factor and a Surface-like hinge that allows the phone to fold in two to resemble a wallet.
Whether these images reveal the long-rumoured ‘Project Valley’ phone, otherwise referred to as the ‘Galaxy X’, remains unconfirmed, but if the images are legitimate, they could offer our first look at the dual-screen device referred to in the ETNews report.
More of a mystery is the flexible OLED device. Another patent, recently spotted once again by Galaxy Club, revealed a design with the following message on its screen: “Dear Sir or madam! Thank you for purchasing our Galaxy Wings today! Now you can enjoy our virtual keyboard, while having maximum space for writing and reading your e-mails. Enjoy your time with Galaxy Wings!”
Related: Galaxy S8 – Everything we know
Could the Galaxy Wings be the flexible display model? At this point, nothing can be confirmed, including ETNews’ report, so we’re unable to say.
The device detailed in the ‘Galaxy Wings’ patent appears to be a smartphone-sized object that folds out to have keyboard extensions on either side, which doesn’t seem to match up with the latest report.
Whatever the case, we’re sure Samsung’s got something planned when it comes to foldable smartphones, so stay tuned for the latest updates as we head into 2017.
WATCH: Samsung Galaxy S8 – Everything we know
Let us know what you think of the latest rumours in the comments.