Apple thinking about making foldable iPhones, patent reveals

What was once a meme may come back as intended reality

What was once a meme may come back as intended reality


In the tech industry, it's a well-known fact that Samsung is currently developing and planning on launching a flexible Galaxy phone very, very soon — perhaps in the first quarter of 2019. The phone has been openly talked about by Samsung bigwigs numerous times, and a prototype was even shown publicly (albeit the lights were dimmed) at the recent Samsung Developer Conference in November.

Now, while it sounds like amazing tech, most pundits and fans are still befuddled at how well the device is going to be able to transfer from a folded to unfolded state. Is it going to be a useful feature to have at all, or just a fun gadget to boast with. Do foldable phones even have a future?

Samsung is not the only company trying to give us an answer to these questions, with rumors that Huawei is also looking into the foldable design. But recent leaks reveal that Apple is planning to join the fray as well!

Revealed by Patently Apple, we have a patent that has been filed by Cupertino in March of 2018 and publicly posted by the USPTO today. It shows that Apple is — at the very least — brainstorming different ways to make a foldable iPhone.

Apple thinking about making foldable iPhones, patent reveals


The listing describes the use of an OLED panel — Apple has slowly been switching away from LCD since last year's iPhone X. In order to make a screen that can withstand multible bends, Apple has invented a coating, which combines a polymer with pigment flakes. Once applied to an OLED panel (via spraying, dipping, or even printing), the coating becomes a protective surface that can twist and turn without cracking or wearing easily.

What's interesting is that Apple's patent shows a device that folds both inwards and outwards. As of right now, Samsung's own flexible phone will be an inwards-folding one. This is because, reportedly, Samsung couldn't make a screen that can stretch and survive a fold-out motion. It seems Apple will be looking to do just that.

As for whether and when we will be seeing this tech — it's all up in the air. This is a friendly reminder that patented technology means that a company is currently dabbling in a certain area, however, it's no proof that said company will ever consider this technology good enough to sell.

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48 Comments

1. shaineql

Posts: 521; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Their devices already fold

4. BLUEBLASTER

Posts: 913; Member since: Feb 23, 2014

Yeah the new ipad pro is great!

8. darkkjedii

Posts: 30832; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I know it's a great device, I just can't get with the bent out of the box. That would irritate me, and if the exchange was bent too, I'd just refund it.

10. BLUEBLASTER

Posts: 913; Member since: Feb 23, 2014

I bet if you tried to trade it in to any shop they would mark you down on the bend.

26. darkkjedii

Posts: 30832; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Immediately. Especially this place I go to called phoneworld.

2. sissy246

Posts: 7000; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

They already did a foldable 6 and now they have a foldable ipad.

6. theviolinist

Posts: 209; Member since: Feb 03, 2018

Basically the same comments over and over again by people who think they're funny.

12. sissy246

Posts: 7000; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Awww don't get butthurt. People in this world today are to serious and don't know how to have a good laugh.

27. darkkjedii

Posts: 30832; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Especially about their iGodz

40. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

Basically the same comments over and over again by people who always whining. There I fixed it for you and it's about you.

3. Papa_Ji

Posts: 791; Member since: Jun 27, 2016

Apple has already in market....Nothing new. As always apple is frist to introduce foldable phone in 2014 and foldable tablet in 2018.

5. baldilocks

Posts: 1452; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

Troll city, USA. Brought to you by the immature comments of PhoneArena.

7. darkkjedii

Posts: 30832; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Just go back to the 6000 series aluminum in the 6 Plus. Seriously though, I'm glad Samsung got on it before Apple, cause Apple will patent stuff just to keep others from using it, while they never use it either.

11. sissy246

Posts: 7000; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Agree...

14. darkkjedii

Posts: 30832; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Apple would patent, just so Samsung couldn't use it. We all know how Apple works...the king of patent trollz.

16. sissy246

Posts: 7000; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

And that is the reason for this patient, to stop any others from it.

25. darkkjedii

Posts: 30832; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Yep. That's it and that all.

9. Jrod99

Posts: 699; Member since: Jan 15, 2016

They already first. Lol. That’s why I skipped the 6 and waited on the 6s. Hopefully the next iPads are stronger next year.

13. Rampage_Taco

Posts: 1005; Member since: Jan 17, 2017

Maybe next years iPad will be manufactured to intentionally bend, rather than Apple claiming the current ones are fine if they bend

15. darkkjedii

Posts: 30832; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I say they should use stainless steel.

29. scarface21173

Posts: 636; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

It would probley be to heavy in weight.

31. darkkjedii

Posts: 30832; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

But well worth it in quality.

39. scarface21173

Posts: 636; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

yeah i agree

43. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

And price.

28. htcisthebest

Posts: 434; Member since: Nov 15, 2011

They like to copy Samsung, so I am not surprised to find out this.

30. talon95

Posts: 984; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

I thought they already fold... permanently.

33. rouyal

Posts: 1567; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

In this comment section: 90% unoriginal “Apple already did” Yet, iPhone users are the sheep.

37. PSAfromThisGuy

Posts: 144; Member since: Jan 16, 2017

they got a head start on foldables with the iPad Pro!! hahahahahahah

47. cheetah2k

Posts: 2185; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

They'll wait a few years, then release it as iBendphone and call it the most innovative technology on the planet and invented by Apple....

48. ZeroCide

Posts: 809; Member since: Jan 09, 2013

This is a patent for their already existing bending. That way they can officially call it a feature.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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