Google Foldable Smartphone Design Tipped by Patent

Joanna Estrada
March 15, 2019

The patent, first spotted by Patently Mobile, suggests that the company might be working on a folding phone with a single screen. Samsung and Huawei have already launched two foldable devices, while other companies confirmed that similar mechanisms are in the making or teased early foldable phone concepts.

Patents from Google. discovered by Patently Mobile show a variety of rough designs for how a foldable device could work, with handsets folding in different ways.

Google also discuss the usual boring bits such as the radius of the curve in the folded part of the display, something that current foldable technology limits.

Several major phone manufacturers are scrambling to bring out foldable phones to rival the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X, and now it seems Google is planning to enter the fray. At the moment, we can't surely say that Google's ever going to make the device described in the patent, but I really hope that they make an attempt. Now patents have revealed that Google are at least doing their due diligence and investigating foldable Pixel phones.

Image Source Google via WIPO
Image Source Google via WIPO

Titled Foldable display neutral axis management with thin, high modulus layers, the application was submitted with WIPO last June and published in mid-December. A World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) patent gives us a hint on what to expect from Google's foldable smartphone.

It can be hard to create foldable top-emitting plastic OLED displays that have a small folding radius in both directions (i.e., having two surfaces of the display fold both towards each other and away from each other) and that can survive many fold-unfold cycles.

According to the patent application, the device is said to include a foldable display that folds inwards.

Newfangled gadgets have always been subject to all sorts of rumors and speculations, and foldable phones are no exception. This is a form factor a few other companies are looking at, including Samsung, for a Fold-successor.

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