An Apple flexible iPhone display patent has been discovered lurking in the European Patent Office (EPO).
The EPO patent was actually published by a selection of Apple engineers under their individual names, without listing Apple as the official assignee.
Apple is obviously trying to keep the patent out of the public spotlight until it has been granted and Apple’s legal team takes over and is a far cry from current rigid displays in the likes of the iPhone 5S.
The patent details a possible future flexible display that would allow an iPhone or iPad to be folded into different modes.
The flexible display may contain multiple housing portions all connected using hinges. The flexible displays will then be mounted to the housing portions, overlapping the hinges to conceal them.
The portions can then be transformed and rotated with the display bending with them.
Apple includes a variety of diagrams illustrating how the flexible device could function, and highlights this is “an illustrative electronic device”, meaning the technology could be applied to all kinds of devices including laptops, tablets or smaller devices like a smartwatch.
The flexible display patent was originally filed in Q2 2011 and was then published again under the names of a group of Apple engineers in Q1 2013.
Apple isn’t the only technology company experimenting with flexible display technology. Both LG and Samsung have already launched curved smartphones, and LG says it has more in the works.
“LG G Flex is a true example of how flexible technology is the future,” said Dr Scott Ahn, LG’s President and Chief Technology Officer to TrustedReviews. “We are going to continue learning from it.”
This was further supported by Frank Lee, LG’s Head of Mobile Communications: “At LG we believe curved is better. We didn’t make the G Flex for the sake of being different, it offers real tangible benefits. The LG G Flex is the shape of innovation.”
Read more: Best smartphones of 2013
Via: Patently Apple