Samsung Rumored to Launch First 'Rollable' Foldable Phone Later This Year

Samsung will add a third foldable device to its smartphone lineup this year that will likely feature a unique rollable form factor, according to a reliable leaker of Samsung's plans.
oppo x rollable

Oppo X 2021 rollable phone concept

The existing Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 3 have been relatively successful additions to Samsung's smartphone family, and the company reportedly plans to ship over 10 million foldables in 2022 with successor models to the Flip 3 and Fold 3, along with a third unnamed addition to its foldable lineup.

The codenames that Samsung is using internally for the models expected this year are said to include B4, Q4, and N4, with B4 and Q4 believed to relate to the Z Flip 4 and Z Fold 4, respectively, and the N4 referring to a completely new device.

Mobile leaker @UniverseIce, who is a well-regarded source of Samsung rumors, today claimed that Samsung's third foldable device is set for release in the second half of the year. However, the leaker believes the codename of the new device is in fact "Diamond" and says it has a "high probability" of having a rollable form factor. Responding to the claim, reputable display analyst Ross Young said he last heard that production of the device had been pushed out beyond 2022, and that he would now seek to confirm if that was still an accurate assessment.

Rollable/slidable phones don't yet exist on the consumer market, but plenty of concept devices have been advertised by mobile makers as they search for the next big innovation in smartphone technology. The Oppo X is a case in point. It used a motorized powertrain mechanism to unroll or extend the screen uniformly while avoiding visible kinks or folds in the display.

The Oppo X 2021 was the first rollable phone that was expected to come to market, but the device was never made available, although Oppo apparently has plans to release an updated version this year. Samsung also showed off a concept smartphone with a slidable OLED display in 2021, but it wasn't tied to a real consumer product launch.

Apple has explored rollable displays in the past, based on patents from the company. In March 2020, a patent attributed to Apple appeared on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that describes an "Electronic device with flexible display structures."

apple patent rollable display

Apple patent

The patent details a flexible display that can be wrapped around one or more internal roller mechanisms, allowing the screen to expand out of the chassis. A rigid section remains to house the printed circuit boards and other electronic components, but with the addition of the rollable display layers.

"Elongated bistable support members may run along the edges of the display or may be overlapped by a central active area of the display to help stiffen and support the display in its extended position," explains the patent, which conceives the technology as adaptable to anything from a smartphone to a smartwatch.

As with all Apple patents, there's no indication that Apple has plans to bring such a device to market, but it is interesting to see what sorts of future solutions Apple is eyeing as it seeks to innovate beyond current consumer-use technologies and compete with future generations of devices with hybrid form factors.

Top Rated Comments

spartan1967 Avatar
20 weeks ago
You have to admire Samsung’s courage releasing innovation like this.
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Marbles1 Avatar
20 weeks ago
That rollable oppo prototype:



does look like magic.

When you hear it described it sound over engineered but the result is great and actually of benefit. Something you can put in your pocket but can be expanded when you need it to be.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
saudor Avatar
20 weeks ago

if its reliable, of course...but if its not, i dont call it innovation
Innovation should be something different , easy to use, better for the consumer...so reliability is a must
Gotta start somewhere. Without Samsung, we would still have 3.5” iPhones and 4gb storage for $1999
iPadOS is the result of no competition. Saw the same with intel before Ryzen
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ph001bi Avatar
20 weeks ago
This rollable concept seems to have more commercial legs than the foldable phones, which are thick, heavy and besides the Z Flip and the Motorola Startac look like a solution searching for a problem.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pol0001 Avatar
20 weeks ago
Reminds me of the "Global" from Earth: Final Conflict

PS: Image from https://www.therpf.com/forums/threads/earth-final-conflict-global-link.268850/

Attachment Image
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
44267547 Avatar
20 weeks ago

Erm…..aren’t the current foldable devices a POS? Fix that first Samsung ?
So….you’re asking a question to something that you don’t know the answer to and then yet you’re answering your own question by telling Samsung to ‘fix it’? Which basically means you don’t know what you’re talking about then reference Samsungs foldables.

And no, they’re not a ‘POS’.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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