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New LG patent shows off a foldable phone/tablet hybrid device

LG was just awarded a patent that shows a foldable device that folds out like a tablet and could display information on the back when folded.

Published onJanuary 19, 2018


  • LG just received a patent for a foldable device.
  • The design shows a device which unfolds to reveal a tablet-like display.
  • One of the designs shows a transparent section on the rear of the device used to show information.

Folding devices could be the next big trend, and it looks like LG is jumping on board too. The company just had a patent issued by the World Intellectual Property Organization that shows a hybrid device that can be used as a phone or a tablet. The patent describes the device as a “mobile phone with a flexible display which can be folded in half.”

The patent covers two different designs. The first foldable phone has a camera on the back panel, and when folded, can display information on the front screen. LG already uses an always-on display in its flagships, and this could be another way to implement that into a folding phone design.

lg foldable phone full size

The second design looks almost identical to the first. The biggest difference is on the rear of the device. A portion of the back moves to the side to reveal information like the time. The patent filing states this portion of the rear cover is transparent, which sounds pretty interesting.

lg foldable phone folded

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Just because LG has filed for this patent doesn’t mean the company will ever make a foldable phone. Companies file patents all the time for every crazy idea they think up. However, it’s only a matter of time before bendable and foldable devices become a reality. Rival Samsung is moving forward on a similar device according to company executives, and ZTE already (sort of) has one on the market, the ZTE Axon M. The patents show a device that opens side to side like the Axon M, but a full screen display, like the rumored Samsung Galaxy X. If LG can pull this off, it could be the perfect hybrid device.

What do you think about this design? Let us know down in the comments.

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