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Samsung is working on a mysterious new display for smartphones

Published Mar 12th, 2020 7:06PM EDT
New Samsung phone
Image: Ahn Young-joon/AP/Shutterstock

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  • Major smartphone releases still to come this year from Samsung include the Galaxy Note 20, with some color renders having recently emerged to suggest the kind of design Samsung is likely to give the handset.
  • Meantime, the electronics giant has apparently been working on a mysterious new kind of smartphone display technology, one for which it’s just filed a trademark application. It’s not clear what the technology will consist of, as the filing describes it as essentially a screen for a smartphone without revealing anything else.
  • The new display could show up in the Note 20, but there’s also a chance it could be intended for some of Samsung’s more experimental smartphone designs, like the handsets with extendable screens that the company has been experimenting with.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

One of the things Samsung does as well as anybody — okay, better than most everyone else, really — is the manufacture of gorgeous, top-of-the-line smartphone displays. Back in 2008, Samsung introduced the first AMOLED display, following that up with other display technology refinements like the Super AMOLED display and Dynamic AMOLED displays. That latter has been a fixture of the S10, as well as making an appearance in the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Z Flip, both of which rely on this kind of display.

Meantime, it should come as no surprise that Samsung is continuing to push the bounds of its smartphone display expertise — and, in fact, the consumer electronics giant seems to be working on an entirely new kind of display, although it seems to be keeping the details under wraps at the moment.

Samsung Electronics earlier this month (on March 6, to be exact) filed a trademark application with the US Patent and Trademark Office for something called “Samsung PIFF.” The trademark has also been included in the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) database. The application categorizes the trademark in Class 9 and says almost nothing about what it refers to except this brief description: “Display for smartphones.”

This filing was spotted by Dutch tech news blog LetsGoDigital, which speculates that since it’s Samsung Electronics that’s filed this application (and not Samsung Display) that it’s almost certain to be intended as a new kind of display for smartphones — perhaps even the new Galaxy Note 20 that’s expected just a few months from now.

Of course, it’s also possible that this is a new kind of screen that’s intended for the, for lack of a better word, weirder smartphone designs we’ve seen Samsung experiment with, like handsets that come with extendable screens (Samsung, of course, is also out front when it comes to foldable smartphone designs). Samsung, as a reminder, showed off a test version of one such smartphone during CES 2020, though only a small group of attendees was allowed to check it out.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.