LG has submitted a new patent, and this one is really interesting. This new LG patent shows off a smartphone with an extendable display. In its starting position, you have a smartphone, but when its display extends, you get a tablet with a 100-percent larger display.
LG patented devices with extendable displays in the past
This is not the first LG patent of a device with an extendable display, by the way. At the end of 2017, such a patent was spotted, and the same goes for a patent that popped up earlier this year.
In any case, this new patent has been registered with the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Office). This patent was published on November 15, and it includes some sketches, along with a brief description.
In its phone state, this device is really narrow. The device does not include a display notch or a display hole, though, which makes us wonder where is its front-facing camera. When you extend this display, you end up with a considerably larger panel. When expanded, this device offers 100-percent larger surfaced than when in the phone state.
The description of this patent clearly states that this is not an eReader, so we're probably looking at a smartphone here. The device does not include any cameras. This is perhaps just the first stage of the development, so that could be why.
One thing is for sure, this device won't be released in its current form. LG almost certainly will not release a phone without cameras, that would just be odd.
We're still not 100-percent sure how will this function. When you pull out the display, its middle portion will appear from within the phone, it seems. The smaller display then separates into two parts, and becomes the left and right side of the large display.
We're also not sure what will keep this phone in place when the display is retracted. The only thing that comes to mind are magnets, powerful ones.
Samsung patented a somewhat similar device in the past
LG is not the only company to have patented a device with an expandable display, though. Samsung did something similar, though Samsung's device expands from the right, not from the middle.
Patents like this make us wonder are expandable smartphones the new trend? Well, it is possible, but foldable smartphones just arrived, and we believe that foldables will take the spotlight in the coming years.
The Galaxy Fold and Mate X do suffer from first-gen issues, as those are first-gen products of a completely new form factor. Foldables will probably become better in time, though.
The Motorola Razr is quite a compelling smartphone as well, in terms of the design. That phone has its downsides as well, though. Foldable smartphones could become quite compelling in a couple of years, when the companies hit the sweet spot when it comes to the design and everything else.