25 September 2019
There is no doubt that all smartphone makers are currently seeing foldable phones as the next trend in phone design. Even the biggest names in the industry have shown a keen interest in devices that can fold. The well-known Japanse consumer electronics brand Sharp is the newest entrant to the club. A new patent application has been spotted which confirms its interest in releasing a foldable phone.
The patent was first spotted by a Dutch publication LetsGoDigital and it was submitted in 2017. The patent listing does not reveal much about the phone Sharp is envisioning but do shed some light. A sketch render accompanying the application shows a device in a rectangular shape with the design similar to the tried and tested clamshell approach.
It shows that the phone has nothing but display on the front panel. There is no front camera and not even sensors. The device can be folded from the two ends like we fold a paper or close a notebook. It means there is only one place from where it can be folded which is in the center.
Interestingly, it has two circle shapes on the two ends which appear to be meant for gaming controls. It is like a gaming controller where there are D-Pad and buttons on the two sides. This gives an idea that Sharp has plans of merging two phones categories, foldable phone and gaming phone, into one.
This undoubtedly a unique and interesting approach but since it is just a patent application at the moment, it is difficult to say if and when Sharp will actually release such a product. There is a good chance that Sharp might do that as it is currently looking to re-invent itself in the market.