Apple could be working on a smartphone that can fold and bend, with a patent application confirming the company’s interest in the concept.
In recent months, we’ve been hearing endlessly about the Samsung Galaxy X, a smartphone that will fold outwards into a full-size tablet. The handset hasn’t been confirmed by Samsung, but the rumours are so frequent and consistent that it’s hard not to have some belief that it’s real.
Well good news iPhone fans: Apple might be working on a Galaxy X rival of its own. A patent application filed by Apple and published by the US Patent and Trademark Office reveals a concept for electronic devices with flexible displays – like folding smartphones.
The patent abstract reads: “An electronic device may have a flexible portion that allows the device to be folded. The device may have a flexible display.” It also goes on to describe how the screen will have a touch sensor that includes an optically clear adhesive that is flexible and “facilitates bending of the display”.
The bad news is that the patent application – which was filed way back in September 2016 – is no guarantee that this technology will ever make it into an actual device. All the patent does is prove that Apple has conceived a flexible phone concept, but getting such a phone to market is much more difficult – and may not even be part of Apple’s product roadmap.
Nevertheless, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard about Apple working on a foldable smartphone. There have previously been rumours that Apple was working with LG to produce a foldable iPhone. LG has a prominent and hugely successful display-making division, and the company was also early to the market with curved-screen phones á la the LG G Flex series.
Apple hasn’t confirmed any such plans however, although if Samsung does launch a folding Galaxy X early near year as rumoured, then Apple may follow suit with the iPhone 9.
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