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New patent from Samsung reveals notch-inspired design

by Justin Herrick | April 16, 2018April 16, 2018 7:00 am PST

The unthinkable could happen sometime next year or shortly thereafter. Samsung might release a flagship that features a design similar to Apple’s iPhone X. It probably won’t be in time for the next Galaxy Note or even Galaxy S releases, but the company definitely wants to utilize a notch at some point in time. There’s a better chance it ends up on a phone that doesn’t belong to either of Samsung’s flagship series.

Based on a recent patent filed with the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) in China, it appears that Samsung is heavily interested in putting a notch at the top of the display. The patent shows a mobile device with an edge-to-edge display similar to the iPhone that’s been inspiring competitors for months.

Here are the illustrations revealed by the patent’s filing:

The patent leaves nothing to the imagination, showing a hypothetical phone from every angle. Just like the iPhone X, there’s a notch sitting at the top of a display that otherwise fills the entire front. Samsung would use the notch to store cameras and sensors.

Other areas of the phone shown don’t matter because it’s merely a quick illustration, but we do see a dual-camera setup with the lenses aligned horizontally on the top left. Samsung has used that alignment before, but tucking the module into a corner isn’t like the company. Normally, Samsung puts its cameras in the center.

Another patent also reveals a phone with no bezel at all. Instead, it has an edge-to-edge display that’s truly unobstructed. Samsung filed a patent for the necessary technology several months ago.

As we alluded to before, you shouldn’t expect to see a notch brought to the Galaxy Note 9 or Galaxy S10. It’s not likely Samsung ever puts a notch on a flagship. Why? Because everyone would call out the company for copying Apple, and Samsung’s done a good job over the years standing out from its rival.

Samsung seems to have filed for this patent just to cover itself down the road. Maybe there will be a time when notches are standard on phones and tablets. Until then, Samsung would be wise to stick with its Infinity Display with ultra-thin bezels at the top and bottom.

Justin Herrick

Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...

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