LG is working on a folding phone, but don’t expect it at MWC
LG has filed a patent for a folding phone that doubles up as a tablet. This hybrid device is described as a “mobile phone with a flexible display which can be folded in half”. The patent was initially filed back in July 2017 but was only published on 12 January this year and seems to show two possible versions for a hybrid LG phone.
One design shows a clamshell-like design where, when unfolded, a camera sits on the rear face of the unit. When closed into phone mode, the front of the device appears to become a screen capable of showing the time and date. It’s presumed the small circle in the lower right-hand corner is a fingerprint reader for use when the device is both folded and unfolded.
The second concept utilizes similar design principles. The phone still has a camera unit on its rear, but when folded the rear cover is pulled aside to reveal a transparent section on the front right side. It’s not clear what this could be used for, but it’s likely LG is trying to show what a case could look like for the folding phone, utilising this transparent space to show time and date information when the phone is folded.
The patent doesn’t go into any further information around LGs plans for such a device. It’s not yet known when we may see a folding LG phone, and it’s certainly not likely to be at this year’s MWC due to the lack of leaked information around such a concept ahead of the show.
Folding phones aren’t new either, for a long time Samsung has been said to be working on such a device under the name of the Samsung Galaxy X. Some believe the Galaxy X is actually the Samsung Galaxy S9, and will, therefore, see a release at MWC this year. If that’s the case, Samsung could seriously upstage LG before they get a chance to come to market, but it’s unlikely even Samsung is at a stage where they can unveil a folding phone.
However, LG could be in a better position than Samsung to release a folding phone thanks to its advancements in screen technology. Not only does LG have the capability to create a few millimetre-thick bendable screens, but it’s also working on a display that rolls up like a projector screen for storage. With these innovations, a foldable screen isn’t that far away.