Google could join Samsung and Huawei in the foldable phone race according to a recently published patent.
The patent application, spotted by Patently Mobile, details a relatively simple outward folding device with a wide-gap hinge.
Unlike Samsung or Huawei’s foldable handsets, this potential Google device doesn’t close flat – instead there’s a space between the two sides of the display because a hinge, which is similar to the Microsoft Surface Book design. It’s not clear how the hinge affects overall thickness of the device – the display itself could be thinner than typical smartphone screens.
The foldable Pixel patent from Patently Mobile.PATENTLY MOBILE
Elsewhere, there isn’t any information on a second or third screen, nor specs. This looks like an early stage concept rather than something we can expect from Google any time soon. It’s also worth remembering that this is a patent and not necessarily indicative of the final design, it’s also the first patent I’ve seen from Google for a foldable phone.
If Google does go down this path though, an inward-folding, clamshell device is better than a phone-to-tablet hybrid design. Similar to Motorola’s Razr V4, the flip-phone shape, which is effectively a smartphone folded in half, delivers on the core objectives of a foldable smartphone: to be more compact and convenient. More
Jay McGregor Contributor