Google files patent for foldable phone. The patent reveals a similar design to the Motorola Razr 2019 and it’s an “innie”, just like the Galaxy Fold.
Foldable devices are one of the trends in the mobile world. Hence, the reasons most mobile companies developed their type of foldable smartphones.
This year 2019, Samsung Galaxy Fold, Huawei Mate X, Oppo foldable phone and Motorola Razr 2019 has already been launched. Finally, it seems Google is planning to enter the fray.
A recent patent application filed by Google suggests the search giant is experimenting with foldable display technology. A new patent application was spotted by Patently Mobile describing a method for constructing an OLED panel that can be bent repeatedly and used in a “modern computing device.”
This is quite interesting considering that Google doesn’t make displays of its own. For working on a foldable Pixel phone, Google would have to order screens from Samsung, LG, and other display makers that can make foldable/flexible OLED panels.
The patent suggests that Google would not go for off-the-shelf parts, and it’ll have particular requirements from display makers. A report said not too long ago that Samsung sent both Apple and Google foldable display samples. However, we are not sure on the display company it will be cooperating with.
The patent shows off the display in several use cases as part of a computing device. It doesn’t strictly refer to a folding ‘smartphone’ in the patent, so this could be used on a tablet or laptop device.
Given the current attention on folding phones in the Android world, and Google’s hardware focus on smartphones, a foldable screen seems most likely to be in Google’s plans.
What to Expect on Google Foldable phone
Google folding display patent shows the design we should expect on the company’s foladable phone.
The first design shows a phone that would fold down on itself when not in use, a ‘clamshell’ design, when the screen is on the inside when the device is closed. This is a form factor a few other companies are looking at, including Samsung, for a Fold-successor.
The google foldable phone patent also suggested that google will feature a Z-shaped foldable phone.
The Z-folding type of design is interesting. It hasn’t yet been seen on any foldable device outside of concepts and patents; Google could potentially be the first to market with such a product, if it were pursuing it.
The patent shows the possibility of a folding device that could bend in two different places a “Z-fold display” without breaking, thanks to what sounds like a smaller number of layers required when building the screen of the device.
Neither of the designs in the patent shows any revolutionary new form of flexible screen that other companies haven’t considered, but it’s interesting that there’s no sign of a ‘notebook’-type foldable like the Galaxy Fold or Huawei Mate X.
Although, there’s no assurance when Google will launch a foldable Pixel phone, but the fact that Google is looking at ways of building sturdy foldable devices seems to suggest the company is looking toward manufacturing of the pixel.
Google’s interest in foldable smartphones has so far focused on the software aspect of their design. It added support for foldable displays into Android last November, and also worked with Samsung to ensure that Android would work as the Galaxy Fold’s operating system. Clearly, foldable phones are important to the future of Android, and Google appears to be interested in both the hardware as well as the software.
From different research, it has been collated that Google is not one to focus on hardware innovations or trends, but instead tends to lead the way through software.
Further, Google is rumored to have asked those with roles in its tablet and laptop division to find other positions in the company, suggesting hardware development is being de-prioritized, or that there won’t pursue as many hardware lines in the future. Its Pixel phones are no doubt safe, but the Pixelbook series, and perhaps new prospects like a Google foldable, may not survive the restructure.
In other words, if a Google folding phone is a work in progress, Google probably won’t be in a hurry to reach the market with it, or use it to pioneer a unique Z-folding design.
We don’t expect to hear anything official about Google’s devices for some time – the company doesn’t launch phones in the numbers many other other brands do, and it usually announces them at the end of the year, so we’ve a while to wait before we get any official word on the handsets.
We’ll keep you updated with all the leaks, rumors and news about Google’s foldable, and all the other folding devices headed to the market.
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