Samsung’s first foldable smartphone closes up like a book when you want to fold it in half. So does Huawei’s, Oppo’s and most of the other upcoming models we’ve seen so far (except for Xiaomi’s prototype, which has a tri-fold wallet-like design).

But Sharp is showing off a prototype of a smartphone display that folds vertically.

Why? I’m not entirely sure. But it certainly is something to look at.

The display panel is a 6.18 inch, 1440 x 3040 foldable AMOLED screen that Sharp says can be folded and unfolded more than 300,000 times.

According to Engadget Japanese, the display can fold outward as well as inward, allowing phone makers to decide which way they’d rather use the device.

Sharp says the display isn’t ready for mass production yet, so it could be a while before we see Sharp AQUOS phones or models from third-party device makers that use the panel. But we might not have to wait too long for a vertically-folding phone. Rumor has it that Motorola plans to adopt a similar design for its upcoming Razr foldable.

via OLED-info

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8 replies on “Sharp’s flexible smartphone display folds in half… the other way”

  1. I would rather have two small screens with a proper hinge. What are you losing? A quarter inch of display area between the two screens? Is that little tiny bit of extra screen real estate worth the folding design?

  2. Looks very much like a Japanese flip phone. Maybe the Japanese phone makers can get their mojo back and stop losing sales to the iphone in Japan.

  3. This shape could work if there is a case that also functions as a wallet.

    1. For that to work, the flexible case needs to have pockets to store your cards.
      Which means this thing is folding the wrong way…. you need to have the cards become sandwiched in the middle so they don’t fall out, or be snatched easily.

      But +1 on the idea, nevertheless.

  4. My big concern with all these folding phones is durability. Not how many times it can be folded before a permanent crease ruins the display, but having a plastic display instead of Gorilla glass. There is a reason Corning keeps coming up with harder and harder materials. Portable devices take a lot of abuse.

    1. You have a point. However these screens are guaranteed not to crack, so in a sense they are way more durable, than regular glass panels. I guess they could apply that soft self-healing plastic at the top layer they use in some screenprotectors, and have a more or less scratchproof display too.

      1. There is always a tradeoff between cracking resistance and scratch resistance. Most self-healing properties come at a cost of clarity, and carry limited life, and certainly won’t resist scratches that mark Gorilla Glass.

  5. Now it has the form factor of a GBA SP. Not sure about this though, it doesn’t really do anything. The point of a foldable phone is to make in thinner to fit in a pocket and fit in a single hand. This doesn’t accomplish either. But I guess it’s cool you could slam the phone shut like old times.

Comments are closed.