Apple Is Working On A Foldable Phone Claims Patent
Samsung will announce the first foldable smartphone of 2019 at the Galaxy Unpacked event on February 20. Several reports and leaks have revealed that many other major OEMs are also working on smartphones with a foldable display. Notably, Apple also may be looking to join the foldable smartphone bandwagon. A patent listing on the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website by Apple hints that the company is working on a foldable smartphone.
Apple Foldable Smartphone
While this patent for a foldable smartphone was filed by Apple on October 12 last year, the patent was granted to it on February 14. Interestingly, the patent by Apple for a foldable device goes back to July 2011, when it filed the first patent. The images posted by Apple in the patent show various concepts of how the smartphone could fold, with a different design shown in each image. Most of the designs show a smartphone fold into half. The Apple foldable smartphone is expected to make use of a flexible OLED display to provide it with the foldable functionality. Most of the devices in the freshly granted patent have a bottom mounted connector which is likely to be the lightning port.
While most of the patents show a device with a display folding outwards, some of them employ an inner folding display. According to some of these images, Apple may also be considering a device with an asymmetrical fold. The images do not disclose the position of the camera sensor. Hence, it cannot be confirmed whether the device will have one or not.
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Past reports claimed that Apple is unlikely to launch a foldable smartphone in the year 2019. Going by its track record, it will wait until the technology is perfected for mass implementation. As of now, it is unclear whether the technology from these patents makes its way into future iPhones or not. Perhaps the iPad or MacBook will make use of this technology.
You can view the patent filed by Apple here.