Google’s foldable patent hints at a compact clamshell phone

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According to the patent application, the device is said to include a foldable display that folds inwards.

The patent shows off the display in several use cases as part of a computing device. The patent images reveal the device in a partially folded configuration as well as fully folded. Earlier this year, we saw reports noting that Motorola's working on a foldable version of the famed Razr phone.

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The device is likely to have an inwardly foldable display

The Z-folding type of design is interesting 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.

Google's patent application included several sketches of a potential foldable device. Even MIUI, the user interface of the company based on Android could immediately undergo an ad hoc restyling in order to make the most of the versatility of the foldable display.

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The search engine giant is expected to follow in the footsteps of Samsung and Huawei that introduced their foldable phones during the recently concluded MWC (Mobile World Congress) that took place in Barcelona. That's not to so these patents couldn't be used for future phones, or that they don't help in the development of similar products, only that they don't guarantee such a device will ever be released.

Almost every company is working on a foldable phone and you can bet that even those who say they aren't are at least doing some R&D into it - afterall, who wanted to be left behind when a new trend takes off.

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The paten doesn't specifically mention anything about this foldable display being for a phone, however. The patent itself features a screen with three panels that folds in two different spots using something called a "Z-fold display". It's also not one to focus on hardware innovations, but instead tends to lead the way through software. The Pixel 3 was produced by Chinese company Foxconn, for example.

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