Patent application reveals how Apple might use flexible OLED displays in future devices


A recently published Apple patent application might have just given us an idea of how Cupertino will employ the flexible OLED display technology in the future. This application is named “Electronic devices with retractable displays”, and it describes a scroll-like portable device hosting such a screen which retracts into two cylindrical casings.

Before you start looking for a high-tech toga to match, it is worth noting that we probably won't see Apple pushing this type of gadgets on the market soon due to the current high production costs and limited availability of flexible OLED screens. Still, it won't hurt to review the interesting bits of this design.

The piece of equipment described in the application consists of two elongated barrel-shaped housings which contain all the other components. You will find the chipset, battery, speakers, microphones, cameras, and any other electronic parts packed inside them, but these housings will also be hollowed out in order to accommodate rollers which will receive the flexible OLED display when it is retracted.

There are also additional embodiments in the application which replace the aforementioned rollers with fixed internal structures around which the display is coiled naturally. When the device is folded, magnets are used to keep the two cylindrical cases together.

Apple accredits Zhen Zhang and Paul S. Drzaic as the inventors of this gadget and the company first filed a patent application for it in August 2015.

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12 Comments

1. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Curious to see how this patent wil turn out in real life. But it currently sounds like vapourware to me.

2. wando77

Posts: 1168; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

Patent shows how Apple plan to steal other companies ideas for flexible screens.....Better headline

4. Chuck007

Posts: 1416; Member since: Mar 02, 2014

That AND how a bunch of copycat brands will figure out grey areas just so that they can claim they did it before Apple.

3. liberalsnowflake

Posts: 273; Member since: Feb 24, 2017

Android oem get ready to be sued by apple for using their innovative superior oled technology.

11. mikehunta727 unregistered

That's not gonna happen since companies like Samsung and some others have a much larger OLED portfolio compared to Apple

5. krystian

Posts: 423; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

The apple baton. Fight off would be thieves trying to steal your phone.

6. sissy246

Posts: 7129; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Wonder where they got that idea from. Oh wait, maybe from thishttps://youtu.be/AhQ6u1x_vdk

7. SailfishOS

Posts: 109; Member since: Nov 06, 2016

Why not make one barrel empty then that will allow the display to coil into it? But i don't see how this is applicable unless its on a tv or replaces projector screen

8. aman5mathur

Posts: 242; Member since: Mar 28, 2014

"A Retractable display"? Might as well call it a scroll!

9. tedkord

Posts: 17489; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Science fiction predicts the future once again. http://goo.gl/qaQu3H

10. AlikMalix unregistered

Yes Yes!!!! I was looking for that on the internet as soon as I saw patent diagrams. I forgot what the show is called from the 90's. Thanks for catching that.

12. tedkord

Posts: 17489; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Earth:Final Conflict. I think they ran on the MCI Network, to really date the show.

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