Nokia could be preparing to enter the foldable smartphone race, according to patents

Nokia could be preparing to enter the foldable smartphone race, according to patents
Rumors about flexible smartphones have been around for a while now. According to some sources, the foldable Samsung Galaxy X could come as early as next year. In the meantime, Apple and LG are also rumored to be working on their own iterations of the technology.

But there is one company that we've all but forgotten, when it comes to innovation in the mobile industry. The former king of mobile phones, Nokia, might be preparing to enter the foldable scene with a bang. Or, it might not.

Either way, we know for sure that Nokia has been granted a patent for a “Foldable device” by the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). A quick search in the Office's database showed that Nokia filed the patent application all the way back in 2013, but it's been granted and made public in September of last year. Further research revealed that the company had filed patent applications for cruder, simpler iterations of the technology since 2005, which shows that the idea is far from new.

The latest patent shows a device that resembles a pocket mirror. It consists of two identical parts, connected by a hinge. On top of all that is a single flexible display, that bends when the two sides of the device are closed. According to the patent description, “[i]n this way it is possible to provide a pocket size device with a relatively large display (for example, a 6, 7 or 8 inch display or larger).” The patented device features a locking mechanism that keeps the two parts together, similar to that of some laptop computers.

Of course, a single patent doesn't mean anything in the world of tech. Nokia could just be patenting something it came up with, without any intention of releasing such a consumer product. But paired with its flexible ribbon-like battery, patented a couple of years ago, and the buzz around foldable phones, this patent could prove to be more than one would expect from the former mobile king.


source: USPTO

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11 Comments

1. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

much more detailed than apple's rushed patent... btw, where will they place motherboard, battery and other components? outside that mechanism?

2. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

"much more detailed than apple's rushed patent..." That's because Apple's patents are never detailed, but always broad... They have said you can't patent ideas, but that's how most of Apple's patents read, and again, in a broad sense, not soecific... once the broken US patentsl system awards such gibberish to Apple, its thus gives Apple the ability to sue whoever does something remotely similar to any of its patents -- just like they've been doing for years now.

7. SIGPRO

Posts: 2817; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

Watch out think apple will steal your name when they will release an bendable phone. This will probably be 7 years after the first foldable phone is released......you know ifans.....they wil say yes this is innovation ahahah. But when you say euhm the first foldable phone was 7 years ago they will say no apple was waiting to perfectionize the technical stuff....

3. meanestgenius

Posts: 22107; Member since: May 28, 2014

Would be interesting to see Nokia enter the "foldable" smartphone space. Looking forward to Nokia bringing new innovations to the smartphone space.

4. SailfishOS

Posts: 108; Member since: Nov 06, 2016

Wait... Nokia didn't prototype a foldable device before?

6. meanestgenius

Posts: 22107; Member since: May 28, 2014

8. nh1402

Posts: 138; Member since: Oct 30, 2013

The Nokia Morph, but that was just conceptual, they never actually made it. There is some transparent plastic in the shape of the morph at a museum somewhere I believe, but yeah just a piece of plastic.

5. Zomer

Posts: 361; Member since: May 31, 2013

Stop acting like every patent will result in a product.

9. sissy246

Posts: 7120; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

I don't see anyone acting like every patient will result in production. Foldable phone kinda cool, don't think I would ever go for one though. They all look to bulky

10. gigicoaste

Posts: 456; Member since: Feb 21, 2016

I like the fact that Nokia is catching up pretty fast, exactly what I wanted to see.

11. steodoreben

Posts: 379; Member since: Sep 26, 2013

Nokia, LG, Samsung, Sony and other emerging Asian OEMs are the true smartphone innovators for the last 5 years. Apple just low key copy others.

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