Alibaba Foldable Phone Patent Spotted: How’s It Different?


Alibaba, known for its strong e-commerce foothold, has been eyeing the product's market for a while now. The Chinese company has now filed a patent for a foldable smartphone. As per the patent, the foldable phone features a clamshell design, but uniquely present dual-folding.

Alibaba Foldable Phone Features

Alibaba Foldable Phone Features

We've seen a couple of clamshell foldable phone designs like the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and the Moto Razr. However, unlike these companies, Alibaba's foldable phone design features a dual fold. A report from LetsGoDigital presents nine patent sketches.

Most notably, the design reveals a smartphone that unfolds lengthwise. The report notes that the "patented device has a large flexible screen with two folding lines so that you have a display that is fully unfolded to show a larger screen." There are two typical physical buttons, where one is the power button and the other is for controlling the volume.

Foldable Phones

Additionally, there's a secondary display on the upper-back part of the phone. This display covers about one-third of the total back screen. When the user folds the phone, the back screen can be used as the front display. However, unlike the front screen, this secondary display isn't flexible.

There's also an added advantage of having the foldable screen on the inside. It remains well-protected even when the phone is folded. Plus, the secondary phone can be used for quick actions like making calls or checking notifications among other things.

Alibaba In Smartphone Market

It remains uncertain if Alibaba would launch the foldable phone. The Chinese retail giant doesn't really make products and it would interesting to see how well the foldable phone runs in the crowded smartphone market.

There's also the possibility that Alibaba might sell the patent or license it to other smartphone makers. As it's an Alibaba product, it's also likely that users could purchase the foldable phone on the Alibaba platform, if and when it rolls out.

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