LG patents foldable screen smartphone case that looks more practical

LG may very well soon be the king of innovative accessories and addons. It was the first to have a flip cover case with a "quick window" and was the first to put the modular smartphone idea to the test. This year, it tried to offer an alternative solution to the foldable phone problem with cases that act as a second screen. A new patent now reveals yet another idea, one that also uses a flexible screen but isn't inherently tied down to the smartphone like the Galaxy Fold.

The problem that foldable phones like the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X try to solve is one of screen size. Some people may want a larger screen but don't exactly want to carry a tablet in addition to a phone. But while flexible screens do provide an answer, they also add more costs and risks to the equation.

A patent spotted by LetsGoDigital seems to combine that with LG's existing Dual Screen solution. With the LG V50 and later the G8X, you only get a second screen when you need it since that comes via an optional case. The patent gives a unique spin to that by making the case have a flexible screen that can wrap around the phone to protect both the phone as well as the sensitive flexible screen inside.

The case doesn't always have to be attached to the phone and seems to connect to the side of an LG phone via connectors similar to a Microsoft Surface Type Cover. There are different configurations possible, including extending the phone's screen to only half the flexible display that's exposed. Or using the flexible cover as the only display or combining both.

Of course, it's a patent that may never see the light of day, especially considering the difficulties of manufacturing a flexible display. The bigger consideration, however, is whether such an accessory will be enough to make LG's smartphones sell well or whether it will ironically reveal how ordinary its phones can be on their own, like what happened with the LG G8X ThinQ.