LG has filed a patent, according to GSMinfo, with a design that “shows a foldable phone-tablet hybrid” shedding some more light into what we can expect foldable smartphones to look like in the near future, hopefully in the very near future.
The design from the South Korean company is different from what we have seen leaked by the other OEMs, it has a screen on the outside so when in the folded state it looks and feels like a “conventional” smartphone. When opened, it has a diagonal screen of more than seven inches, creating the real estate needed for a tablet.
When the phone is closed, the design shows features like the camera, LED flash, a power switch, and a fingerprint scanner.
Samsung has also filed a patent for a foldable phone. According to reports, Samsung in August last year, altered its design from a “fold-in” to a “fold-out” style for ease and practicality so that users can see notifications when the device is folded rather than to open it to view.
The design shows a home button when folded and a tablet screen size of two phones across when opened.
Microsoft has also joined the foldable bandwagon by filing a patent with a flexible hinge in creating “a 2-in-1 foldable device which can act both as a smartphone and a tablet,” according to MSpoweruser. This hinge innovation could stem from the work done by Microsoft on its Surface Book. The patent filing describes this as a hinge forming “an axis in relation to each other, and supports a continuous viewing area of the display device that extends across the plurality of housings and the flexible hinge structure.” In other words, when in its opened condition, the phone will look like a tablet.
Ten years ago, Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone to the world with touch technology, giving us more screen size than we thought was possible. Could 2017 be the year when we can see another major transformation in phones? Foldable displays?
Watch out for foldable smartphones, coming soon to a mobile carrier near you.
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