Samsung's patent shows holes in display for larger screen space

An illustration of a smartphone display in the patent filing by Samsung (WIPO).
An illustration of a smartphone display in the patent filing by Samsung (WIPO). PHOTO: KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

SEOUL (THE KOREA HERALD/ ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Samsung Electronics has won a patent for a smartphone display design that has holes on the screen with a nearly full screen-to-body ratio, which could be adopted for the Galaxy Note 9 smartphone model, according to news reports on Friday (Jan 19). 

Samsung filed a patent titled “Electronics apparatus having a hole area within screen and control method thereof,” on Thursday with the World Intellectual Property Organisation. 

The company applied for the patent in May. Two other patents related to the “hole area screen” were field in Korea in 2016. 

The new patent application depicts tiny holes, four in total, on the upper part of the front screen, which seem to be used for sensors and hardware. 

This would allow Samsung to embed cameras or speakers directly into the screen instead of the phone’s bezels, providing more screen space and solving the infamous notch problem of Apple’s iPhone X. 

Although patent submission does not necessarily result in a product, it is an indication that such a design or solution is one that the company is considering. 

According to the filing, Samsung is considering measures to allow users to enlarge content displayed on the main area - usually above the home button area - fully to the very top and bottom areas of the screen as the content would not be interfered by the home button. 

It is also notable that the fingerprint scanner will be moved back to the front side of the smartphone by mentioning two options. 

One is a fingerprint scanner under the display, which Samsung has shown in a previous patent. The other option is that a hole is made in the display for a physical button, in which the fingerprint scanner will be integrated.

Samsung is planning to launch three new Android flagship models this year: the Galaxy S9, S9+ and Note 9. The Galaxy S series will be unveiled one day before the opening of the Mobile World Congress on Feb 25. 

According to rumors, the bezels of the upcoming phones will be slimmer than previous models, enlarging the screen space further. 

They are also expected to feature a 3-D facial recognition function like the iPhone X and super slow motion for the camera. 

“An improved version of Bixby will also be introduced with the Galaxy S9 series,” said Koh Dong Jin, CEO of information mobile communications at Samsung during a press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week.

Koh added it is still early to launch a foldable smartphone.