Nokia began the year with a fresh start by launching the Android-powered Nokia 6 smartphone, under HMD Global. The once glorious smartphone company is looking forward to launching more in the days to come, hoping to regain its lost stature. The latest development in Nokia s stride is that of a foldable smartphone which comes from a patent granted to the company. It looks like Nokia is joining the race of major smartphone companies like Samsung and LG in the quest of launching foldable devices. Samsung s foldable devices are expected to be launched commercially by Q3 of this year. Also Read - Phones launching next week: Pixel 6 series, Samsung Galaxy S21 FE, Motorola Edge S, moreAlso Read - Phones launched last week: Realme GT Neo 2, Moto E40, OnePlus 9RT, and more
The patent, discovered by PhoneArena, is named Foldable device and has been granted by the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). The patent was filed in 2013, but it has come to light that Nokia has been filing for patent applications with similar technology ever since 2005. Looking at the image, the device s display bends in the middle and folds into an even smaller device. The patent description says, [i]n this way it is possible to provide a pocket size device with a relatively large display (for example, a 6, 7 or 8 inch display or larger). The display of the device in the picture itself looks rather big, and even with the patent description, Nokia could be opting for a big sized display.
More images reveal that the device when unfolded to contain a bigger sized display has a locking mechanism as seen in laptops. The back of the device has a curved shape which doesn t seem very appealing aesthetically. Also, the device when folded would turn into just a pocket-sized object, and there is no information on whether there would be any sort of display on the outer screen. ALSO READ: 5 quintessential Nokia features we hope HMD will bring back in its Android smartphones
If we recall, back in 2014, Nokia along with Semiconductor Energy Laboratory (SEL) had showed off its flexible display technology. Nokia showed a book-type display that could be folded into two and a three-fold display. The interesting part was that these displays could be folded even while a video is being played and can also be bent up to radii of two millimeters and four millimeters. The companies also claimed that the displays are strong enough to survive being bent more than 100,000 times.
With a patent filing, there isn t much to conclude as every other day, a new patent is filed and granted. But considering the constant appearances of foldable smartphones in the news, and with prototypes being unveiled, 2017 could really be the dawn of foldable smartphones.
Speaking of which, Samsung has been aggressively rumored to launch its foldable smartphones this year. While some rumors suggest the launch of Galaxy X1 and Galaxy X1 Plus foldable smartphones, some suggest a foldable smartphone with its display folding out. The Galaxy X1 and Galaxy X1 Plus smartphones have their displays bending in the middle. The other Samsung device in question is one whose display folds outward, thereby having a display on the front and back as well. It can also be unfolded and hence, turns into a 7-inch tablet. ALSO READ: Samsung s flexible smartphone to fold outward, expected to launch in Q3 2017: Report