Chinese smartphone maker ZTE’s patent filings depict both horizontal folding and a clam shell design.

The first foldable devices launched by the likes of Samsung, Huawei and Motorola have sparked a debate on which folding mechanism is the best. The foldable devices currently available in the market either fold in horizontal direction like the Samsung Galaxy Fold or in a vertical direction like the Motorola Razr. Chinese smartphone maker ZTE appears to have a foot in both camps with patents filings depicting both horizontal folding and a clam shell design.

ZTE’s PCT Application No. WO2020093975 titled, “Flexible Screen Extension Mechanism, Expandable Flexible Screen Assembly And Terminal”, relates to a flexible screen extension mechanism that includes a storage assembly and a flat board supporting assembly staggered with a storage toothed structure to permit a sliding action. This application takes a different approach to providing a small form-factor that can transform to a larger display when needed. The device display extends from both directions rather than unfolding.

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PCT Application No. WO2020093975 assigned to ZTE

ZTE’s PCT Application No. WO2020093846 titled, “Flexible Screen Storage Device, Flexible Screen Stretching Quantity Measurement Method, And Terminal”, relates to a flexible screen storage device with a storage frame, a cylinder, a center shaft and a conductive contact pin. While WO2020093975 discloses a foldable device that extends when required, WO2020093846 discloses a storage area for rolling the flexible display when collapsed.

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PCT Application No. WO2020093846 assigned to ZTE

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