If one fold is good, two folds are better. That appears to be the thinking at Samsung's R&D department, where engineers are reportedly hard at work on a double-hinged phone in the Galaxy Fold series. According to a business report from Nikkei, Samsung is looking into a double-hinged design, with hopes to unveil it before the end of 2021. That's on top of new iterations of Samsung's existing folding designs, the large Galaxy Z Fold and the clamshell Galaxy Z Flip.
Patents already awarded to Samsung, showing a larger folding phone with a triple-layered folded position, would presumably be the basis of this work. According to the report, Samsung is viewing foldables as the new and exploitable market for former buyers of its high-end Galaxy Note series, which has long been rumored for the chopping block for sharing too much market space with the premium Galaxy S. Samsung already told investors it's not planning a Note release for this year.
Note: the image above is a
quick and dirty Photoshop illustration. There are no leaked images of the dual-hinge design.
Nikkei quotes multiple anonymous sources from within Samsung and the larger South Korean mobile industry. The aim appears to be creating a larger tablet-sized device when fully expanded, with an aspect ratio around 16:9, ideal for most video content and requiring less specialized work from app developers. The Galaxy Z Fold series uses more square-ish folding screens, greatly expanding real estate but being less ideal for some videos and games.
Since all of the information presented in the report is anonymous, and even then predicated on the success of internal development programs very much in progress, it's possible that none of this will come to pass. But Samsung wouldn't be the first company to create a triple-folding screen, just the first one to bring it to the mass market. Such a device would almost certainly be the company's flagship model, a status symbol with the price tag to match.