LG's patent suggests that a foldable phone race might be heating up among South Korean phone manufacturers.
Get ready for a serious #tbt, friends — the flip phone looks like it’s making its way back. While they’re now being branded as “foldable phones,” make no mistake — the clamshell is soon to rise from the dead. There’s the Samsung Galaxy X foldable phone which is slated to make its debut this year, but now, it also seems as though LG will be offering up a flip phone of its own. On Wednesday, it was discovered that the Seoul-based smartphone maker (and one of Samsung’s major competitors), had filed a patent for a foldable phone design.
As gleaned from the sketch above, it looks as though the phone’s display will fold down over what would ostensibly be the keyboard of the device. Other images show the device fully unfolded to create a rather long body (because apparently, bigger is now better again in the world of smartphones).
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Nothing has yet been confirmed, but there is talk of the foldable phones of the future (or rather, of 2017), to be more than just … phones. Indeed, it seems that expectations are high for both Samsung and LG’s versions of these devices, as experts are anticipating flip phones to actually double as tablets. Such technology has actually already been demoed (it made its debut at Lenovo Tech World last June), so it certainly wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for something like this to come to fruition this year.
In fact, a separate LG patent shows just such a design — another proposal for a foldable phone shows the flip happening on the vertical edge, which means that when it’s unfolded, you’re greeted with what looks like a tablet in landscape mode. The device would have a touchscreen on both the front and the back, while the hinge could serve as a music controller or notification bar. And of course, there would be a camera, flash, and fingerprint scanner.
So get excited, friends. 2017 is looking up already — at least, when it comes to nostalgic mobile devices.