Samsung, Apple and Huawei are rumored to be working on foldable smartphones. While we have heard about Samsung planning to release its first foldable smartphone sometime next year, it might not be alone. According to a newly-granted patent, Samsung’s Korean rival LG could be another major brand to launch a smartphone with foldable display.
While ZTE’s Axon M folds horizontally, LG’s patent indicates that its smartphone will fold vertically. This seems inline with rumors indicating Samsung’s smartphone will also fold vertically instead of horizontally. The patent also depicts a regular smartphone that can be folded in half.
In order to allow for such a mechanism, LG has created a new hinge mechanism that lets the display to folded at certain angles. The approach should help avoid any damage to the display and there are two magnets placed on the bezels of the screen in order to hold it in place and avoid unfolding on its own. The approach seems to resemble that of a flip phone whether the display unfolds vertically from the lower half bearing the keyboard.
The patent application suggests the display will automatically turn on when the device is unfolded. When the device is folded, the display will turn off automatically. The folded smartphone is equipped with two antennas, two speakers and two microphones, which are all placed under the display towards the top and bottom side of the device.
Watch: ZTE Axon M First Look
LG’s foldable smartphone will also use flexible circuit board and LetsGoDigital notes that the camera module might be integrated within the display as well for an all-screen experience. There is no clarity as to when LG plans to launch its first foldable smartphone. It is likely that LG will not rush with the launch of a device since the technology is nascent and might affect the reputation of the brand.