At the MWC 2018, Vivo teased the Apex concept smartphone, which if reports are to be believed will be launched in China today. Besides the in-display fingerprint sensor, which can be activated by touching anywhere on the bottom of the screen, the audio coming out of the screen, another highlight of the concept smartphone is its pop-up selfie camera. However, as it turns out, Vivo isn’t the first one to think about such a concept of camera on the smartphone.
According to a tweet posted by Essential founder Andy Rubin, a patent for a pop-up selfie snapper is owned by Essential. The patent was filed in May 2016 under the name “Apparatus and method to maximize the display area of a mobile device.”
— Andy Rubin (@Arubin) March 3, 2018
If the model images in the patent are compared in the patent application to the teaser of the Vivo Apex, hardly any difference could be pointed out. Although, in a variation, the camera was placed in the corner and doubles as the button users would press to activate the snapper.
For anyone expecting a lawsuit out of this, that may not be necessary as yet. Since the Apex is just a concept as of now, it wouldn’t appear that Vivo needs to license the pop-up camera from Essential. But when Vivo is ready to mass produce the phone for consumers, that’s when a conversation with Essential might be required.
Vivo Apex takes the narrow bezel display to the next level by altogether removing the camera sensor from the front panel. The smartphone features the thinnest bezels ever seen on a smartphone, measuring 1.8mm. The chin of the phone is a mere 4.3mm. With a 98 percent screen-to-body ratio, the Vivo Apex uses a flexible OLED display.