Foldable iPhone patent shows how Apple might prevent display damage

Foldable iPhone patent shows how Apple might prevent display damage

On paper, foldable smartphones seem like the perfect idea – they grant consumers access to large displays that can be folded up into pocketable sizes. But in reality, their designs do come with quite a few challenges.

One of the hardest ones to overcome is preventing damage to displays after being repeatedly folded and unfolded, especially when it's cold. Apple, however, appears to have a solution to this despite not yet releasing a foldable device.

Detailed in a newly-published patent, the Cupertino giant believes the key to avoiding any display damage is heat. Through a variety of sensors, the device in question will be able to keep track of the display panel’s temperature. If it becomes too cold, separate components will then heat a specific portion of the display. This, according to the patent, should allow the flexible panel to adapt easily to its new position, thus reducing any potential deterioration.

Because adding a dedicated heating component to a device could add unnecessary bulk, Apple has also suggested the implementation of an alternative solution. This would automatically increase the display brightness in the affected area to heat up the panel. Once warm enough, the brightness will automatically be lowered. 

Apple still hasn’t publicly acknowledged the fact that it’s working on a foldable phone so it’s still possible that such a device will never be released. If it does eventually launch though, rumors suggest it won’t happen until the second half of 2020 at the very earliest.

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17 Comments

1. JCASS889

Posts: 422; Member since: May 18, 2018

Why do apples patents look like a 5 year old was playing with CAD, Im a designer in cad for living and these drawings are so poorly done.

4. shaineql

Posts: 516; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Basically the point of patent and it's official description is to be as less descriptive as possible. There is quite a few articles and YouTube videos on this topic. Few reasons being - They can sue easier if they prove similarities with others - They don't give out much information about the product to competition

6. darkkjedii

Posts: 30688; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

If it works, does that really matter?

12. worldpeace

Posts: 3077; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

They make it looks as generic as possible, so they could sue others.

15. nodes

Posts: 1140; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

Whose patent that doesn't look like 5 years old scribbles, though?

2. Fred3

Posts: 309; Member since: Jan 16, 2018

I thought the ipad was the first foldable

3. maherk

Posts: 6642; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

No it wasn't, the iPhone 6 was their first foldable product.

5. sissy246

Posts: 6907; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

LMAO But you were putting in your pocket wrong.

7. darkkjedii

Posts: 30688; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

The iPhone 6 bent, and so did iOS 8 with all the issues it had.

9. darkkjedii

Posts: 30688; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Behave bro, don't hurt their feelings.

11. maherk

Posts: 6642; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Look at the guy below, I guess the damage has already been done lol

10. Vokilam

Posts: 999; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

Pretty sure it was iPhone 6+ only models - the 6 wasn’t reported even though it had same alumenum - it Wasn’t as long this helped it from being affected

14. Valdomero

Posts: 592; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

True, the iPhone 6 despite being made of the same materials as its larger counterpart, didn't suffered from bending during it's lifetime, unless you applied enough pressure for it to become bent. My gf's 6+ suffered touch disease while my 6 was totally unaffected, perhaps the disease was dormant...

17. Vokilam

Posts: 999; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

No it wasn’t, that iPhone 6+ (not iPhone 6) was the first foldable. But with that force you’ll damage just about every other phone.

8. chris2k5

Posts: 180; Member since: Nov 17, 2012

Samsung was the first to heat up their phones with Note 7

13. Valdomero

Posts: 592; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

I think they didn't calibrated the heat function enough.

16. nodes

Posts: 1140; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

Yeah, how could Apple even patent this, when Samsung were the first to out such thing to public?

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