Smartphone manufacturers are speeding up the development of foldable phones. According to industry sources, Motorola recently registered a patent for a foldable phone to follow Samsung Electronics, Apple and Huawei.
Motorola recently received an approval for the design patent from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). According to the patent, the flexible display of the phone can be easily bent in the shape of a tent. Motorola is considering incorporating wireless charging into the cover of the device, too.
It is Samsung Electronics that is likely to come with the first foldable smartphone in that most of the required parts can be procured from Samsung Group subsidiaries and partner firms. Samsung Display is expected to initiate the mass production of foldable displays late this year.
In China, Huawei and BOE are leading the development of a smartphone with an eight-inch screen folded inwards. BOE is working on the display and Huawei is expected to unveil the phone late this year.
The utility of foldable smartphones has yet to be proven. They can form a whole new market or fizzle out once they fail to prove their utility to more than offset their high prices. Previously, multiple IT companies made attempts for foldable devices, such as Microsoft and its Courier Project-based foldable tablet PC. The concept design leaked in the second half of 2009 but the company gave up on it the next year.