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HP seems to be going the clamshell route for its foldable, with a device that reminds us of the Moto RAZR 2019/2020 and the Galaxy Z Flip. The unusual thing about is that it offers two flip modes: either the two parts of the screen overlap, or there’s a little segment left outside, showing notifications, missed calls, useful data. The main camera is integrated into a horizontal module, not vertical, much like LG has been doing on its phones for a while now.
The company filed a patent with the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Office), which was approved last month. The patent describes a smartphone with a flexible display that bends vertically in a clamshell format, similar to the Motorola Razr 2019. LetsGoDigital also provided 3D renders based on the patent sketches to help in better visualizing the device from HP.
When thinking about Hewlett Packard (better known as HP) many people think of printers, calculators, laptops, and tablets. However, the American manufacturer from Palo Alto (California) has also gained experience in the field of features phones and smartphones over the years. The last smartphone from HP was the Elite X3 from 2016. This is a Windows 10 Mobile smartphone that you can easily connect to an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse to create a desktop experience.
It seems that HP wants to use its acquired knowledge to develop a foldable smartphone that combines the features of a phone and a tablet. According to a LetsGoDigital report, the American brand is also looking to launch a foldable smartphone, with a clamshell design. Hewlett Packard is a known maker of laptops, tablets, printers, and other electronic gadgets. However, the last smartphone the company ever released was the HP Elite X3 back in 2016.
If computer manufacturers indeed want to release a foldable phone/tablet, it seems likely that these devices will run on Windows, instead of Android or iOS – as is currently the case with most smartphones.
However, because the design is too advanced, this product is not expected to appear for a long time. It is expected to have an inward folding mechanism unlike the predecessor and sport displays from both Samsung and BOE. The patent filed at EUIPO showed a similar form factor to the older Mate X and had a vertical sidebar with a secondary display. It also showed an inward folding display with a stylus tucked underneath the vertical housing on the side.
The patent shows a folding design similar to the Motorola Razr and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip. For a better understanding, LetsGoDigital has produced multiple renderings. The size of the camera and screen is not explicitly mentioned in the patent. So these renderings are just created by LetsGoDigital in order to better show how the HP foldable phone will look if it goes on production ever. Although similar to the folding method of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, HP describes it as ‘using a movable hinge that can be folded in different positions’ and is not limited to folding in half. At the same time, in order to prevent damage, HP hopes to use a stretchable structure that will become thicker as the pressure increases.
The market for compact cameras has already been swallowed up by the smartphone and tablets have also declined in popularity in recent years – partly because smartphone screens have become increasingly larger. By being able to fold a smartphone once or even several times, this portable device will increasingly pose a threat to the tablet and laptop industry. It is therefore not surprising that computer manufacturers are also diving into this new market.