Samsung appears to be embracing the notched display phenomenon. Patents filed at the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) of China show the company playing around with several designs for future smartphones. One of which shows the notch on the front to fit the earpiece and sensors in a cluster.
The patent application also shows the phone featuring an edge-to-edge screen, which looks suspiciously like something from Apple. There is also a lack of any physical fingerprint scanner. This suggests an in-display scanner may be in the works instead.
A second design eschews the notch completely. Instead, we get a full-screen device with no physical buttons or cut-outs on the front – which includes the selfie camera. A notable design feature that is absent in both patents is Samsung’s curved screen, which has been present for the past couple of years.
One may be tempted to believe that Samsung’s patent shows that it is copying the iPhone. But that would be a mistake. While the filing was only made public on 28 March 2018, it was original made back in May 2017. Quite a while before the iPhone X – and its notch – was revealed to the world.
Samsung may or may not translate these patents into an official product as the process from patents to final design can be arduous. There is also a possible second explanation; the patent filing from Samsung may just be a precaution from patent trolls engaging with them in court.