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LG has designs for foldable phone-tablet hybrid

LG's concept as seen in the patent filing, unfolded. (Source: GSM Info)
LG's concept as seen in the patent filing, unfolded. (Source: GSM Info)
LG, Samsung, Nokia and Microsoft are exploring various foldable phone concepts that could hit the market as early as Q3 2017. The race is on.

LG recently filed another patent for a foldable device that can double as both a phone and a tablet. The most interesting feature of this device is its ability to fold vertically, minimizing its footprint while allowing for a large screen when unfolded.

Based on the graphics in the patent documents, the device will have touchscreen displays on the front and back while the bendable section functions as a media controller or notification bar. On the rear of the phone are its power button, fingerprint scanner and camera.

This news comes not long after recently-discovered patent filings from 2014 revealed that Microsoft is also experimenting with a foldable concept for what some believe is their Surface Phone. Rumors have been swirling around the possibility of Microsoft launching the Surface Phone this year, but little is known about what the device will look like.

Another foldable phone that may hit the market this year is Samsung’s mysterious fold-out device dubbed the Galaxy X. Sources say that the Korean company could unveil more than 100,000 units of the phones in Q3, while LG has plans to roll out a similar number of foldable devices in the following quarter. While Samsung may use this foldable screen technology in their own phones, LG could implement it in devices for other clients such as Apple and Huawei.


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Isaac Brown, 2017-01-17 (Update: 2017-01-18)