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We have heard a lot about the foldable smartphones in the past one year. These smartphones will come with flexible displays and aim to enable new form factors and design elements. But Motorola's new patent for a foldable phone appears to be a modern take on the iconic Moto Razr.
The patent, spotted by Mobielkopen, shows a rather tall phone. But a hinge can also be seen, allowing the device and screen to fold in half like clamshell handsets of yore. However, this isn't the first time we've seen a clamshell form factor in a smartphone with Samsung's W series in China.
But this will be the first time we will see a design with a continuous flexible screen, in contrast to the bottom half of the clamshell being a physical keypad or another screen. The design could prove to be good at avoiding scratches, but it won't be easy to put a protective case on the phone.
Nevertheless, the patent doesn't necessarily confirm that Lenovo/Motorola will soon be unveiling a foldable smartphone with a clamshell design. But it does give us a peek into what the company is planning for the foldable smartphone front.
If the reports are to be believed, Xiaomi has already started the development of its own foldable smartphone. The company is said to be working with the suppliers. Unlike, Samsung and Huawei which have in-folding designs for their devices, Xiaomi's version will have an outward folding design. What remains unclear is how the company would choose to price the device.
While Samsung's device could cost up to $2,000, Xiaomi has committed to a maximum profit margin of 5% on its smartphones. This could mean that Xiaomi can significantly undercut its contemporaries.
Besides, Oppo is also said to jump on the bandwagon soon, however, no specific timeframe has been provided. While there is no information about the existence of these devices, numerous recent patents hint towards what is expected from the companies.
Basically, 2019 could be the year of the foldable smartphones with at least four major smartphone makers have something exciting in the pipeline. And, if we take all the recent patents into consideration, the toll could rise to six thanks to LG and Motorola. What's certain is that these smartphones will come in limited quantities, and might later convert to huge numbers.