There have been a few different iterations of the folding smartphone over recent years, but it seems that Google is getting ready to toss its hat into the ring. Two patents have recently been filed by Google Inc. at WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) showing a foldable smartphone that Google appears to be working on.
The two patents show slightly different designs for the folding smartphone. The first shows an outward folding design with a cylindrical hinge vertically at the center. Meanwhile, the second shows an inward folding display with thick "ridge-like" structures supporting the frame.
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As reported by Gizmo China, Google has specified that the hinge on the second folding smartphone patent is a "plurality of hinge assemblies", which Gizmo China interprets as suggesting a multi-segment hinge.
These two Google patents were filed back in July 2020 and were only officially published on 21 January 2021. While it's not clear whether either of these two designs will be used, it's certainly interesting that Google is experimenting with the hinges – especially as the original Samsung Galaxy Fold had so many issues with its hinge.
It's not clear how convinced consumers are with the concept of foldable phones, but manufacturers seem to be continuing to develop new folding smartphone products. It will definitely be interesting to see whether Google's iteration could be the one to capture consumer attention.