There hasn't exactly been a flood of leaks around the Huawei Mate V – supposedly a clamshell foldable that's on the verge of launching – but we've heard some rumors about it. Now a patent has emerged detailing how Huawei might be keeping this device cool.
The patent, spotted by LetsGoDigital (via Notebookcheck.net), outlines a clever thermal management system that involves a folding heat pipe. The heat pipe is not traditionally a part of a smartphone known for its folding capabilities, but it would appear that the engineers at Huawei have found a way to pull it off.
As ever with patents, there's no indication of which device this might appear in. Considering the Huawei Mate V is rumored to be launching as early as this month, this unconventional, bendable heat pipe possibly won't be included in it.
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Huawei's foldable future
Much of the patent is made up of very technical descriptions – it stretches to 46 pages – and we learn that there's a flexible polymer layer in the middle. The heat pipe can be made of copper, titanium or aluminum, according to Huawei.
What now seems clear is that Huawei is committed to pushing out more foldable phones in the future. Huawei is one of only a handful of manufacturers that have decided to push out phones that you can fold up – see the Huawei Mate X, the Huawei Mate Xs and the Huawei Mate X2.
The Huawei Mate V looks to be something different, and is said to be adopting the clamshell form factor of phones like the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 and the Motorola Razr. If the leaks are true, we might not have to wait much longer to see it for ourselves.
Analysis: foldables are where the innovation is
The discovery of this new patent from Huawei is another reminder of where a lot of the innovation in the smartphone industry is happening: in foldable devices. While standard phones tend to just give us more of the same, foldables offer something that actually feels different – and from the future.
Of course the main innovation is that folding mechanism at the center of each device. As companies like Samsung have released more and more folding phones – like the Galaxy Z Fold 3 – the technology has matured and become more reliable over time.
However, manufacturers are also using foldables as a way to showcase other cutting-edge features – think secondary screens for notifications, selfie cameras that live under the screen, and support for styluses. And now, perhaps, folding heat pipes.
It's almost as if the folding phone form factor gives manufacturers license to be a little more experimental, and that's something we welcome. It very much seems as though we're going to get plenty more of these innovative devices in the future too, with the likes of Google and Apple rumored to be entering the fray in the next few years.