On the cusp of the Galaxy F release, Apple's foldable phone patents are getting more sophisticated

Apple's foldable phone design patents are getting more sophisticated
Samsung is so enamored by the foldable phone concept that it was commenting until recently how it is willing to give someone the pleasure to shout "first" with one, while it polishes its idea further to deliver an actually useful product that will leave a lasting impression. 

Well, there is nobody that is more into it than Samsung, and it will most likely be the foldable phone pioneer anyway, but plenty of other companies want to gauge how Samsung's effort will fare on the market and are waiting in the wings with their own patents, too.

Huawei, LG, and Xiaomi are the ones most often cited as having plans to release foldable phone designs of their own, but one other, more formidable competitor, is heavily exploring the idea, too. We are talking about Apple, of course, whose foldable phone explorations have been gearing up to a crescendo mode lately, and analysts are even on record saying that Apple is indeed mulling a Gumby phone concept for the not-so-distant future.

This acceleration of the internal project shows best in the patents that Apple is filing on the matter. While the first ones were pretty basic, getting its foot in the patent door, they are now what you see below. These foldable design concepts were just granted to Apple yesterday by the US Patent and Trademark Office and they even sport a double-folder that could fit a giant screen in a very compact footprint, provided that the thickness is kept in check. 

Needless to say, these are still some time off, but if Samsung's proof of concept device that is likely to land early next year, proves a success, Apple will have something to work with to counter its market share encroachment. The only problem might be the actual flexible displays - Apple was reportedly in cahoots with LG for its foldable phone concepts so as not to leak ideas to Samsung, but in the end, it might have to employ it as a supplier anyway, given its experience with the OLED iPhones.

source: USPTO (PDF) via 9to5Mac

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