(Pocket-lint) - It seems Nokia believes there will be a market for foldable smartphones after Phone Arena uncovered a patent filed by Nokia way back in 2013 for a "Foldable device". The patent was granted by the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), although Nokia has apparently been filing patents for more simple versions of the technology since 2005.
The picture in Nokia's patent shows what looks like a compact mirror, with two identical looking sides connected by a hinge. Inside the device is a single screen panel that folds in half, but as for the size of the screen, the possibilities are vast. Nokia mentions in the patent filing: "[i]n this way it is possible to provide a pocket size device with a relatively large display (for example, a 6, 7 or 8 inch display or larger)".
Phone Arena does say that the patent filing may mean nothing at all, and Nokia may not ever release a foldable smartphone, but considering there's rumours suggesting Samsung will release a folding smartphone later this year, we'll be keeping a close on this one.
The Samsung Galaxy X is expected to launch later in 2017 and will allegedly feature a design that will allow it to transform into a 7-inch tablet. Samsung is reported to have already ordered 100,000 units of the device, so perhaps it doesn't expect huge sales if and when it launches.
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Nokia has only just made a return to the smartphone world after parent company HMD Global recently released the Nokia 6 in China. We're also expecting to see the Nokia 8, the company's flagship device, unveiled at Mobile World Congress 2017.