Nokia Foldable Smartphones May Be in Development, Recently Granted Patent Hints

Nokia Foldable Smartphones May Be in Development, Recently Granted Patent Hints
Highlights
  • Nokia patent gets granted after three years
  • The flexible device can fold from between
  • The device can be snapped shut together as well

Laptops have embraced the flexible design, and 360-degree hinges are now seen on most of the new launches out there. Smartphones are expected to see the same trend, and Samsung is heavily expected to launch a flexible display smartphone in Q3 this year - as is LG for Q4 2017. Expected to join the party is apparently Nokia, which has finally got a patent approved for a 'foldable device'. This patent hints that Nokia could indeed launch a flexible display smartphone this year.

Nokia was granted a patent for a "Foldable device" by the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) in September. It had applied for the patent back in December 2013. The photo attached to the patent, spotted by PhoneArena, shows a small pocket mirror like device that bends and snaps shut from between. The device has two identical pieces on both the sides that open up to form a large smartphone display. Nokia had first applied for the patent on December 4, 2013, and it finally got granted on September 13 last year.

A granted patent doesn't necessarily mean that the company will look to introduce a foldable device into the market - however enticing that may sound. It could be just one of the patents that big tech companies like to keep with no intentions of building a consumer product, and could simply indicate one of the possible avenues the company may take in the future.

The abstract reads, "An apparatus including: housing parts foldably connected to each other, the housing parts being configured to be movable between an open configuration and a closed configuration; a display assembly pivotably connected to the housing parts, wherein the display assembly comprises a flexible display part; the flexible display part is configured to bend in response to a closing movement of the housing parts; and the display assembly is configured to be retracted inside a space defined by the housing parts in response to a closing movement of the housing parts. "

What makes the foldable smartphone more credible was the fact that in 2013, Nokia was granted a separate patent for a crazy foldable thin battery that hints at Nokia's seriousness in bringing foldable smartphones into the market. Whatever the case may be, time will tell all.

Once a legendary brand, Nokia recently put an end to production activities and licensed its brand rights to HMD Global. The company plans to launch a slew of Nokia phones this year, and it flagged off 2017 by launching the Nokia 6 this month. The device has managed to gain 500,000 registrations for its flash sale on January 19 exclusively on JD.com in China.

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Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to tasneema@ndtv.com. More
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