HTC Patent Could Bring New Form Factor


We’re all familiar with slider phones of various forms… the LG enV, T-Mobile G1, Sidekick, Palm Pre, etc… there are a lot of different possibilities. HTC has filed a patent that could lead to a new form factor that, in the end, just accomplishes the same thing in yet another way:


Apparently the clamshell uses magnets, is spring-loaded, and somehow opens on its own after you give it a nudge in a certain direction. I’m not positive they’ve got it right, but Greg from MobileCrunch seems to describe it best:

Imagine a clamshell phone, like the LG enV. Instead of opening the handset by pulling the hinged halves apart, however, you slide the top layer down a few millimeters, and bam! It springs open. When you slide the top half down, you’re breaking the connection between two magnets (one in each half of the phone) that held it closed, allowing the spring-loaded hinge to do its thing.

Will this be used for an Android phone? No clue… but given the company’s pursuit of Android dominance/success, there is at least a decent chance that if this comes to market, it’ll be sporting our OS of choice.


[USPTO via WMPowerUser]

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. Patent applications become public record after 18 months of applying. Since HTC would be working on this design for at least 18 months, we could be seeing this fairly soon…

  2. Sounds kinda cool.

  3. Sounds like the old Motorola Pebl except in landscape form:


  4. Sounds interesting. I see someone doing that and it flinging out of the hands though.I’m a big fan of new though so i’ll be following this.

  5. haha yea a lot of people are going to be dropping the phone. have to wait and see how this one is gonna go

  6. It soulds like this would be a perfect Sidekick replacement form factor. The new MyTouch Slide has a joke of a keyboard and no real “wow” factor. This device looks like it would have plenty of room for a full FIVE-row keyboard like the Sidekick. Also with the pop-and-go screen-open function similar to the sidekicks will make it not only more cool-looking but more functional. Many of us long-time Sidekick users could easily pop open the screen with one hand.

  7. So basically it opens the same way as the motorola PEBL only sideways? I don’t think the the PEBL used magnets so maybe it’s a different mechanism but the idea is the same.

    What I’d prefer is something that you can open by flipping but then slide it closed also so when the keyboard isn’t exposed the screen can either be protected facing it or exposed and useable. Like a tablet pc but with sliding instead of swiveling. Only problem is the mechanism would either be huge or not at all durable.

  8. Will this be called the HTC Clam Magnet?

  9. sounds an awful lot like the old Motorola Pebble. My wife has one and if I were to explain how it opens it would be just like this.

  10. I have a feeling it is on its way to AT&T! XD

  11. New form factor? It’s a horizontal clam shell! The only thing new about it is the manner in which the locking mechanism releases. Please label your articles accurately….

  12. All I can think of is doing this, and having the phone jump out of your hands… But then, HTC would probably make it less springy. :)

  13. I don’t know, I think it’s kinda weak. Looks like a DS lite to me. Not sexy.

  14. aren’t magnets dangerous for phones? i know you’re not supposed to put any near a computer or a tv

  15. i see people trying to spin the phone with magnets

  16. Clam = 5 row keybord????? I hope….

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