Two years ago, an electronics manufacturer Sharp started to focus on the European market when it comes to selling smartphones. Since last year, various smartphones from the Japanese manufacturer are available in the Netherlands, such as the Sharp Aquos D10, the C10, and the B10. But Sharp is well aware that if it really wants to stay sharp, the company will have to show more innovation and can not ignore the trend of the foldable phones.
In recent months, various telephone manufacturers have expressed their intentions to introduce a foldable telephone. The Royole FlexPai , the Samsung Galaxy Fold, and the Huawei Mate X have already been officially introduced. Also, LG, Motorola, Lenovo, Xiaomi and Oppo officially informed to have a foldable phone development.
So far, it is unknown whether Sharp intends to enter the folding telephone market. And that is striking, after all, folding telephones have remained popular in homeland Japan for much longer than in other countries. Five years ago, 1 in 4 phones sold in Japan were still clamshell models. You would, therefore, think that the demand for foldable smartphones there will also be relatively large.
Sharp foldable smartphone with a unique hinge
A patent from Sharp Kabushiki Kaisha shows that the company is really engaged in the background with the development of a foldable telephone. In 2017, the company already filed a design patent with the Global Design Database of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Office).
Not entirely surprising is it a folding phone design with an elongated flexible display. To get a better idea of the design, LetsGoDigital had a series of 3D renders designed based on the patent drawings.
The screen of the Sharp foldable phone is very large. The screen edges are kept to a minimum, there is no notch, no hole in the display and no pop-up camera. What this will mean for the selfie camera is unknown. The Japanese are crazy about making selfies, so it is unlikely that Sharp chooses to omit the front camera as a whole. The process under the screen then?
When you fold the smartphone, the display is on the inside. Sharp opts for a unique hinge that can bend at two points. So you can choose to close the device completely or only partially, leaving a portion of the screen usable.
If you carry the foldable smartphone with you, you choose to fold the device as a whole, so that the display remains optimally protected against scratches and bumps. For example, if a message arrives, you can open the device a little and you can immediately see what the message is.
On the back, we see a single camera and a flash. “Be Original” is Sharp’s slogan. The Japanese manufacturer probably thinks, where other smartphone manufacturers choose two, three, four and even five cameras, Sharp takes it easy. With one high-quality camera, you can also shoot beautiful pictures.
Furthermore, the Sharp foldable smartphone has a connection at the bottom to charge the mobile phone. A 3.5mm connection seems to be missing. However, there are three buttons on the left-hand side, the functions of which are not explained in more detail in the design patent.
Foldable telephones with a clamshell design
All foldable smartphones that have been introduced to date unfold into a tablet format display. The first folding telephones with a clamshell design will probably also be introduced in 2019. Think of the Motorola RAZR, but Apple and ZTE are probably also planning a similar design.
Sharp probably won’t feel the need to be the first to line up to present a foldable phone. Nevertheless, that does not mean that the Japanese manufacturer sees no future in this new trend. There is a good chance that the market for folding smartphones will continue to increase in the coming years, after which the mobile devices will also become cheaper. Possibly that is a good time for Sharp to get in.
Since the company now also sells its devices in Europe, this may mean that in the future we can also buy a foldable Sharp phone in the Netherlands.