Google could be working on a foldable phone too

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Foldable phones are certainly the talk of the town this year.

The search engine giant is expected to follow in the footsteps of Samsung and Huawei that introduced their foldable phones during the recently concluded MWC (Mobile World Congress) that took place in Barcelona.

We don't expect to hear anything official about Google's devices for some time - the company doesn't launch phones in the numbers many other other brands do, and it usually announces them at the end of the year, so we've a while to wait before we get any official word on the handsets. Aside from that, the phone seems quite familiar to the Galaxy Fold from Samsung. With tech behemoths reportedly working on their own versions of foldable smartphones, it is hardly surprising that a leaked patent of Google's purported foldable phone has made an appearance online.

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The device is likely to have an inwardly foldable display

The patent, first spotted by Patently Mobile, reveals a Google design for a foldable smartphone. We've already seen devices from companies like Samsung and Huawei, and teasers from Xiaomi and Oppo.

The patent applications also show a double foldable phone it seems which would allow for a screen on the outside of the phone when it is folded down - we can not image the amount of engineering required to have two hinges on a foldable smartphone.

The patent, published in December, describes the device like so: "a$3 foldable display of a computing device includes a back stiffening layer, a transparent frontplate layer, a transparent cover window layer, and an OLED display layer disposed between the back stiffening layer and the transparent frontplate layer". However, Google is also looking at the possibility of folding a display around two hinges, that would give the device a "Z-fold" aspect. In particular, creating sturdy, durable Z-fold displays (i.e., displays with both inward and outward folds) is greatly complicated by the fragility of the thin-film layers in the display stack.

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