Google Foldable Smartphone Design Tipped by Patent

Google Foldable Smartphone Design Tipped by Patent

They're clearly very early sketches, with not a huge amount of detail, but they do suggest what kind of foldable Google is considering. Aside from that, the phone seems quite familiar to the Galaxy Fold from Samsung.

The search engine giant is expected to follow in the footsteps of Samsung and Huawei that introduced their foldable phones during the recently concluded MWC (Mobile World Congress) that took place in Barcelona. You would expect in the future this would change, if foldable phones take off.

Almost every company is working on a foldable phone and you can bet that even those who say they aren't are at least doing some R&D into it - afterall, who wanted to be left behind when a new trend takes off.

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.

Google’s foldable patent hints at a compact clamshell phone

While only Samsung and Huawei have foldable phones that will hit the market soon, a succession of leaked patents suggest everyone from ZTE to Apple have plans to enter the market, and these handsets come in a range of designs from "clamshells" that fold down to "notebooks" that open up.

In particular, creating sturdy, durable Z-fold displays (i.e., displays with both inward and outward folds) is greatly complicated by the fragility of the thin-film layers in the display stack.

While most companies are focused on making a big foldable, it's nice to see that some companies are considering a compact form factor for this category.

It's likely that every major phone brand will eventually bring a folding device to market, but Google does have one advantage over the competition. Apart from an overview, the leaked patent images don't reveal much about Google's first foldable smartphone.

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