The foldable phones they have everything. I would say that the market is still in the prototyping phase and that we, the users, are just guinea pigs for these big manufacturers. But the fact is that Samsung has already started selling the Galaxy Fold even in Brazil – the first batch (quantity not disclosed) is over and the company has put on the air another batch of devices for a modest R $ 13,000.
Huawei, Motorola and others have already rolled up their sleeves to present their solutions, and the question that many Apple customers ask is: does Apple intend to launch something like this? The answer, for now, only the company’s executives have, but that does not prevent the company from already registering patents involving creations of folding phones.
This week, Apple filed a patent (# 10,551,880; at the United States Patent and Trademark Office) that covers a folding device with a unique hinge mechanism, using movable tabs to help prevent the display from being damaged by being folded up.
The idea is that the hinge mechanism ensures an adequate separation between the first and the second part of the screen. When the device is unfolded, the movable tabs extend to cover the gap; when folded, they retract.
Such a mechanism would avoid visible creases on devices like the Galaxy Fold and Mate X (from Huawei), for example. The new foldable Razr (from Motorola) tries to avoid this problem with a unique hinge design.
The problem is that this mechanism does not appear to be very resistant – not to mention the problem of dust entering under the hinge:
My opinion is that such a market is still very incipient and that Apple will wait a long time to see if it will really succeed. This, however, was not the first nor will it be the last patent registered by the company covering the subject.
What are your bets?