New Patent Suggests We Will See A Foldable iPhone In The Future

By Danica Simic 

This year’s Thanksgiving is exciting for many reasons. The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office published Apple’s patent application regarding a possible iPhone model with a foldable screen. There have been various rumors suggesting that Samsung is working on a foldable device, but also other tech giants are working on a foldable device. So, are we going to see a foldable iPhone in the future?

The patent has been filed with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office and mentioned on Patently Apple. The patent suggests a mobile device equipped with flexible components that allow it to fold itself. That means that the device will likely sport a flexible screen. The flexible display of the patent may be equipped with a flexible display layer, a cover layer, a touch sensor, which is located between the flexible display layer and the cover layer.

Basically, according to the patent, the foldable iPhone may be equipped with a display that you can open and close like a book. If you remember, the first report suggesting a device with folding capabilities was almost one year ago. It was said that several companies are teaming up with LG in order to create a device with a design. A new report emerged just one month ago, and it suggests that Apple planned to work with LG to make a foldable display for its iPhones, according to the Investor.

However, it is worth mentioning that both reports referred to an OLED panel, which is used in the iPhone X that came out this month. Also, last month The Investor reported that although Apple partnered with LG, the new foldable iPhone might still be years away, and may not launch until 2020.

The device will likely be made using flexible adhesive and a shape memory alloy or amorphous metal. The patent also mentions Liquidmetal as a possible material which may be used in the new device. It is worth mentioning that Apple has exclusive rights to the amorphous material, although didn’t use it much for its electronic devices.

According to the patent, there is also a possibility of the foldable device using micro-LED display, which is thinner than OLED, which is used on the iPhone X. The micro-LED display is also more energy efficient compared to the currently used OLED. Apple has moved to OLED displays for its iPhone X, and with that in mind, it would be strange for the company to switch to micro-LED anytime soon. But, if the iPhone X won’t launch until 2020, there is a possibility the company won’t adopt the new technology until then.

What do you think? Who will launch the phone with a foldable screen first? Apple or Samsung?