LG receives a patent for a foldable smartphone

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Samsung and LG are both supposed to grace the market with foldable phones in the second half of this year. Samsung will reportedly release a device that starts with two screens folding out, and transforms into a 7-inch tablet. A week ago, LG was awarded a patent (US D776,074 S) for a "Mobile Phone" featuring a new design that allows the upper part of the phone to be folded. The patent was filed on January 7th, 2015, and was approved on January 10th, 2017.

LG and Samsung both took the first steps toward a foldable smartphone (baby steps, to be sure) in 2013 when each released a smartphone with a small but noticeable curve. The Samsung Galaxy Round curved in from the sides, and the LG G Flex curved in from the top and bottom. Unlike the Galaxy Round, which was considered more of a test run, the LG G Flex did well enough for LG to produce a sequel.

Truthfully though, if Samsung and LG do release foldable phones this year, we expect both to be able to convert from a smartphone to a tablet and back again. Last year, we got a glimpse of what such a device would look like during Lenovo Tech World last June. During the event, which was streamed live, YouTuber Meghan McCarthy took a tablet and folded it into a phablet sized phone that she put up to her ear. Click on the video at the top of this story to relive the moment.

It does appear that 2017 will be the year when a real foldable phone (or two) is introduced. While that might not happen until later this year, check out images from LG's recently awarded patent by clicking on the slideshow below.

source: USPTO via TrendyTechz

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