It looks like Apple’s dream of one day creating a foldable phone isn’t dead just yet. The company has been granted a new patent for an iPhone that would be able to fold in half, and even grip onto your clothes — meaning you might not even need to put it in your pocket.
The patent itself was applied for in July 2014, and it envisions the use of a flexible OLED display that could itself fold in half, making the device look somewhat like the clamshell-type phones of yesteryear.
The patent goes into detail about how the device would work, butkeep in mind that just because Apple has been granted a patent, that doesn’t mean it will ever release the tech to the market. According to the patent, the device could be folded so that the two screen halves touch each other, or so that there’s half of the screen on either side of the outside of the device. More hinges could be implemented, too — so that it could fold into thirds or quarters instead of in half.
The patent isn’t just interesting because it shows a foldable phone — it’s also interesting because of the fact that the display is an OLED one. So far, the iPhone has stuck with an LCD display, although some expect that Apple will make the switch to OLED over the next few years.
However unlikely it is that we’ll see a flexible iPhone in the near future, it’s quite possible we’ll see a flexible device from another company. Samsung, for example, has been working on a flexible phone for some time now, and most recent rumors indicate that it will finally be released in 2017. LG is also rumored to be working on a flexible phone.
- New Apple patent hints clamshell-style foldable phone may be in the works
- Samsung reportedly wants to be the foldable display supplier to Apple and Google
- LG’s V50 ThinQ is a different take on the folding phone, and it supports 5G
- Apple patent hints at flexible display that hides speakers, buttons, and more
- Wrap it or bend it. TCL’s foldable concept phones can put a screen in any format