A patent application, noticed by Patently Mobile, seems to suggest that Google is working on or at least dreamed up a foldable display. The most interesting part is that Google doesn’t manufacture displays. The Pixel 3 was produced by Chinese company Foxconn, for example. There is a chance that Google could just give this design to a manufacturer if it wanted to produce a foldable version of a Pixel phone in the future.
The paten doesn’t specifically mention anything about this foldable display being for a phone, however. It only mentions it’s to be used in a “modern computing device”. So, that certainly leaves some wiggle room as to what Google might be planning to do with this technology. The patent itself features a screen with three panels that folds in two different spots using something called a “Z-fold display".
Will be it added to a phone, a tablet, or something so futuristic we can’t comprehend it? Likely not. Chances are, this is just Google preparing for a future where foldable screens are the new “it” technology. Presently, we have no idea how successful foldable phones are going to be, especially if the cost of them stays in the thousands. Still, for a company like Google, it’s worth covering its bases.
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Keep in mind Google has some experiences working with foldable glass. The company worked to make sure Android functioned properly on Samsung's first foldable device. This might've influenced Google’s thought process on the new patent and its interest in the foldable technology.