LG patents smartphone with a foldable display that opens into a tablet

Going over manufacturer patents has become a sort of past-time around these parts. It’s always fun to get a sneak peek into the creative process that comes with building the next killer smartphone. Yesterday we took a look at what Samsung could be planning for future Galaxy smartphones, one device with a iPhone like notch and fingerprint sensor under the display, and the other with a front facing camera hidden behind the display.

Often times devices like these never make to market, so it’s not worth getting too worked up over. But sometimes they do manifest themselves in some way or another, so it’s a fun little guessing game. Today, LG is getting some patent love too.

The South Korean manufacturer recently filed a patent with the World Intellectual Property Organization showing a folding smartphone/tablet hybrid. According to the filing, the device is a “mobile phone with a flexible display which can be folded in half” and was originally filed in July of last year, but wasn’t published until today.

The device looks similar to devices like the ZTE Axon M (or that NEC Medias device we peeped a few years ago) — the only difference being LG has solved the issue with the unsightly bezel separating the two displays. In LG’s implementation, it’s a single foldable display that wraps around the outside of the device.

What’s strange is how the cameras are still present (possibly getting on the way of the UI) and how the display shifts to the side when folded, revealing another display underneath.

While manufacturers have been toying around with the idea of foldable smartphones, they haven’t really been seen as anything more than a gimmick. It’s tricky to get it right and by the look of LG’s patent, could still be a tough sell.

WIPO | via GSMInfo.nl

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