Apple's new patent for a foldable iPhone shows something in common with the Galaxy Fold

Apple's new patent for a foldable iPhone shows something in common with the Galaxy Fold
A timeline of foldable devices that was released last December by CGS-CIMB Group was interesting. It had Samsung and Huawei as the first two major phone manufacturers expected to release a foldable phone months before this was set to become true. The manufacturer last on the list was Apple, not expected to launch a foldable iPhone until the second half of next year. Earlier last year, a Merrill Lynch analyst said that after talking to Apple's supply chain, he expects a foldable iPhone to launch in 2020; we love when two separate reports lead to the same conclusion. While there have been concepts of a foldable iPhone released, a patent awarded to Apple this week might give us the best look at what Apple has in mind.

The USPTO on Tuesday (via Patently Apple) awarded Apple U.S. Patent No. 10,303,218 for Foldable cover and display for an electronic device. The illustrations show an inward folding device similar to the one on the Samsung Galaxy Fold. That is unlike the outward folding Huawei Mate X and the vertical folding Motorola RAZR (2019). But unlike the Galaxy Fold, the patent is accompanied by other drawings showing a more flexible display that can bend into more shapes than current implementations of the folding form factor. The patent focuses on the foldable iPhone's display and cover layers. As pointed out in the patent, both are designed to fold and unfold by "bending the cover layer over the foldable region."

Will Samsung's problems cause Apple to delay work on a foldable iPhone?


Apple filed the patent in January 2018 and it was previously published last August. Last July, Apple received another patent from the USPTO related to a foldable iPhone. This patent relates to the use of filling material to prevent parts of a foldable screen from thinning out when it is folded open.


It is important to note that Apple initially filed these patents before the problems surfaced that has put the Samsung Galaxy Fold in limbo. The first folding phone from a major manufacturer was unveiled in February and was supposed to be released on April 26th. But as you no doubt know by now, some influencers thought that it would be okay to peel a protective film off of the large internal screen despite warnings from Samsung not to do so. There were other issues as well, including one that saw debris enter the phone via the hinge and cause a bulge on the display. Samsung has delayed the launch of the Galaxy Fold and Best Buy has recently canceled pre-orders it received for the device.


The Huawei Mate X and its outward fold was supposed to be the second foldable released by a major phone manufacturer this year. While Huawei hasn't made any statements, with the company currently losing access to parts, components and software from its usual sources, the Mate X could be delayed. Huawei's problems are obviously not the same as the ones that Samsung is facing with the Galaxy Fold.

Judging from the patents that Apple has filed and received, it is serious about creating a foldable iPhone. We just wonder whether the roadmap for such a device has hit some detours in light of Samsung's problems.

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17 Comments

1. Godlymansean

Posts: 334; Member since: Apr 14, 2017

Not a fan.

11. sgodsell

Posts: 7034; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

First of all Apple has major flaws in iOS and why it won't support a foldable iPhone anytime soon. Second of all Apple doesn't make foldable displays. They can patent all they want, but they need to purchase from some company like Samsung. Third iOS on iPhones doesn't support real multitasking and split screen multitasking. Now this one isn't too hard to add, but iOS on iPhones needs a major update. Forth is Apples ecosystem. Doesn't lend itself well for a foldable iPhone/iPad. Especially when Apple purposely separates iPhone and iPad apps. Apple even encourages it's developers to make separate apps for iPhones and iPads. This is the biggest problem with a foldable iPhone. Is Apple going allow it's customers to run both iPad and iPhone versions of apps simultaneously on a foldable iPhone? Plus how will it transition from an iPhone to an iPad mode? Will the apps remember what state they were in when switching modes? All that support has to be added in to both iOS and the apps themselves. Fifth, Apple will have to price a device like this quite high, or else it could cannibalize Apple's iPads and their expensive iPhones.

12. Trex95

Posts: 2377; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

Don’t worry Apple going to make an specific apps for foldable iPhone unlike android stretch out apps that not even suitable for android tabs to date. Prefer iOS multitasking over android multitasking cause I can keep a 2GB of game in background for a day or more without shutdown unlike android that true multitasking kills the ram and make the phone laggy.

13. sgodsell

Posts: 7034; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Apple is going to make all their apps and all the 3rd arty apps work on foldable displays. That's good one. How are they going to do that? Hmm? At least Android and Google encourage their developers to make one app that scales and supports tablets or smartphones. It's up to developers if they want to support both tablets and smartphones. But in any case Android supports foldable and switching displays today. IPhones DON'T as of today. You prefer iOS multitasking over Android multitasking. First of all iOS multitasking on your iPhone. That's a good one. You must mean task switching on the iPhone. Because that's what iPhones do, they halt the task you left to run the task your switching to. If true multitasking kills the ram and make the phone laggy, then why would anyone buy a foldable iPhone from Apple in the first place? Look at the end of the day Apple, it's app ecosystem, it's developers, and it's iOS all need major work. If you cannot see that, then you are the true blind Apple sheeple.

14. dvlprr

Posts: 47; Member since: May 08, 2019

You Must Have Something Else To Do. Go Do It.

15. Trex95

Posts: 2377; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

First let android get proper apps that works in android tablet not upscale stretch out apps that works in phones and tablets to save some money then will talk and for your info I used galaxy tabs and pervious nexus tablets and non of these tablets worth it.

16. sgodsell

Posts: 7034; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

It still doesn't change the fact that you won't see a foldable iPhone this year or next year. I will bet money on it, because Apple's current app ecosystem doesn't support foldable iPhones or devices in general, that includes iOS. So Einstein please tell everyone here how Apple is going to fix what I stated earlier. If you had the even the slightest bit of development knowledge in you, then you would know how right I am. Like it or not, I stated the truth.

2. User123456789

Posts: 676; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

1) If outside America they charge even more than $2000 for iphone and near $4000 for ipad, I dont want to imagine the price of this ... It is like an iPad Pro 2019 with flexible oled and another rear screen. 2) I doubt they will do it. I dont believe they would sell one device f they can sell you an iphone and ipad. The outer screen of this concept looks 29:9 to me ....

3. Alcyone

Posts: 257; Member since: May 10, 2018

Maybe they can figure how to properly manufacture engineer and manufacture this. It'd be a shame if it went the way of the Airpower...

7. oldskool50

Posts: 962; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

They aren't the one manufacturing it. It is gonna come down to the design and what display they buy from Samsung based on what is available next when they think they are ready to produce it. Samsung certainly made some missteps but the losers made a .uch bigger deal out if an unreleased device, then all the junk Apple has released that they knew had problems and then publicly lied about it.

10. chris2k5

Posts: 240; Member since: Nov 17, 2012

It would be a shame if it went the way of the Galaxy Fold and became a huge fail.

4. Vokilam

Posts: 1151; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

Don’t care, I don’t see the point of this type of device. I can have the most expensive iPad and the most expensive iPhone for the same price (assuming it’ll be priced at a minimum of what Samsung charged for theirs).

5. oldskool50

Posts: 962; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

If Samsung is charging $2000, and Huawei potentially wants $2600; i don't even wanna see what Apple is gonna charge for what would basically be a folding iPhone with all the same iOS limitations. Apple gonna want at least $3500 in the US. Which could make it as much as nearly $6000 outside the US. Only the Sheiks in Dubai will be buying it. Its a cool concept of a device no o r needs, no one is asking for and only the people who literally have money to waste. I waste money too, but it won't be on this.

8. User123456789

Posts: 676; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Of course thiose subcellebrities on Instagram will buy

6. highwaysnobbery

Posts: 50; Member since: Feb 19, 2013

Apple is going to invent the folding phone now!

9. iloveapps

Posts: 725; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

This will be the iphone Pro, iphone and ipad.

17. jack123

Posts: 278; Member since: Jan 07, 2013

Will it call iPhone Pro, iPhone Fold,,, Nah, It's going to be iPhade.

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