Apple files for patent on flexible iPhone display

Apple files for patent on flexible iPhone display
The USPTO has released a copy of Apple's application seeking a patent on a flexible iPhone screen. The display would be able to open and close like a book, folding on a center axis. As recently as last month, we told you that Apple is looking to partner with LG on the production of the Gumby-esque screen. Why LG? Why not Samsung? Those are good questions. Heck, we even thought of them ourselves. The answer is a lot less complicated than you might expect. Apple is concerned that Samsung's display division might not be able to keep its mouth shut and pass the word over to the Samsung division in charge of building the foldable Samsung Galaxy X.

Interestingly, a foldable iPhone might not see the light of day until 2021. And that would come after Apple will reportedly unveil its AR headset in 2020, a device that is supposed to be even bigger than the iPhone ever was.

The title of Apple's patent is Electronic Devices with Flexible Displays. And speaking of flexible displays, the Samsung Galaxy X is supposed to grace us with a limited release next year of its foldable display. Despite all of these trials and screens with unfinished business, there is still a long way to go before consumers are downright accepting of a smartphone screen that opens to become a tablet and closes to become a phone.


source: USPTO via RedmondPie

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27 Comments

1. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1162; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

Personally I doubt the main interest of any company is to make a phone that folds into a tablet. A large phone that can be folded in half would be what they'd aspire to first.

24. audibot

Posts: 590; Member since: Jan 26, 2017

i can't believe that this is whats accepted as a patent, no wonder companies are suing left and right, apples never made a screen but after seeing samsungs and lg's booth from 4 years or more ago they will put a patent out for something they have no idea on how to make. i remember the first mit proof of concept back in 2005

2. afrohoxha

Posts: 207; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

"Apple is concerned that Samsung's display division might not be able to keep its mouth shut and pass the word over to the Samsung division in charge of building the foldable Samsung Galaxy X." Why should Samsung copy Apple regarding passing of confidential information ( from Qualcomm to Intel) when they were working on flexible displays years before Apple 'invented' this idea? Anyway, this is assumption is expected from PA, so no surprise here.

5. Saioofi

Posts: 327; Member since: May 23, 2014

Did Apple claim they invented this idea?

6. worldpeace

Posts: 3092; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

No, but tame-apple-press will assume that way

15. Phullofphil

Posts: 1740; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

I object. Speculation...leading the witness. It’s just a patent for there idea on it. If it gets a patent then it is it’s own idea.

25. audibot

Posts: 590; Member since: Jan 26, 2017

no if you change 1 thing then you can patent an idea like i did in 2000

8. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Samsung didn't invent flexible displays. Even though they announced them earlier than Apple they did not invent the idea. LG also developed on this idea years back and so did so many other display companies.

9. afrohoxha

Posts: 207; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Who said Samsung invented them?

11. tedkord

Posts: 17094; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

They didn't invent the "idea", but they did invent a lot of the tech involved in making them a reality.

16. Phullofphil

Posts: 1740; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

If any of you all don’t think that Samsung copies people and deals with the fallout later are completely blind. They blatantly copied apppe on the Samsung s1 and on there whole way of things going forward. That being said it’s just one patent that may never go any ware for years or if at all. If they do get a patent then the patent committee saw it as its own idea worthy of getting one.

19. tedkord

Posts: 17094; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

That's bull. They didn't copy it any more than Apple copied the LG Prada. The Prada and F700 coming out at the same time as the iPhone show definitively that smartphones were heading this way already. Three different companies coming out with similar designs at the same time isn't anyone copying, it's all three recognizing the trend. Samsung doesn't copy any more than Apple. In fact, if you go back to the GUI, Apple steals more.

23. ph00ny

Posts: 1986; Member since: May 26, 2011

They didn't invent it but they've had more working flexible display prototypes out at trade shows than most other manufacturers

26. Klinton

Posts: 1408; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

As I said many times before. Whenever some real tech company develope something - or Apple come with patent on it, or tech media put rumor that Apple work on it ...lol

3. tedkord

Posts: 17094; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

So, Apple are worried that Samsung might copy the text h they're copying from them...

4. TerryD

Posts: 540; Member since: May 09, 2017

Nice patent drawings. Must be some magic involved there because they show bugger all.

7. worldpeace

Posts: 3092; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

They must use some kind of wizardry that make USPTO grant this vague doodle patent

22. HansP

Posts: 542; Member since: Oct 16, 2011

The magic comes from mythical sources on exotic offshore islands. Pieces of paper with little green presidents on them.

10. HansP

Posts: 542; Member since: Oct 16, 2011

"We have no idea how Samsung will actually do it, but we'll file a patent for it anyway..." -Apple innovation 2017

12. worldpeace

Posts: 3092; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

And they'll buy screen panel and internal components from Samsung to build that phone :v

13. Toyoman24

Posts: 34; Member since: Aug 31, 2017

yet again Apple is last on something that has already been LOL dumb fuks

14. BuffaloSouce

Posts: 1175; Member since: May 01, 2017

It doesn’t matter who does something first or last, what matters is who does it the best. Your comment just shows your brain doesn’t have the capability of providing any thoughts other than 5th grade insults.

20. tedkord

Posts: 17094; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

It matters when the company that did it last has cried and sued over others copying them. It's called hypocrisy and theft.

27. Klinton

Posts: 1408; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

Apple DON'T make displays. They buy displays. This ''patent'' is ridiculous

17. Fellwalker

Posts: 518; Member since: Apr 04, 2014

Flexible means something altogether different from foldable in half.

18. BuffaloSouce

Posts: 1175; Member since: May 01, 2017

That may be true but the diagram shows something that looks foldable

21. wesley.

Posts: 206; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Oh please, loads of other manufacturers have patented this already.

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