Apple publishes new foldable iPhone patent

Apple has published a new patent for a foldable iPhone.

The patent explains how it would create a device which uses cover sheets to allow for efficient bending of the device without excessive internal stress.

These sheets would be made of a variety of materials including glass, sapphire, and ceramic.

“The display layer and the cover layer are configured to be moved between a folded configuration and an unfolded configuration by bending the cover layer along the foldable region,” states the patent.

Foldable iPhone

This is not the first time Apple has published a patent for a foldable smartphone.

Its first foldable iPhone patent was published in 2016 and had a similar design to Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip.

Apple has published several foldable device patents since, including one in February which involved the use of specially designed flaps to prevent screen creasing.

Apple has not made it clear when it plans to launch a foldable iPhone.

However, experts believe it is unlikely a foldable iPhone will be launched this year, with predictions being made for a 2021 or 2022 launch.

Foldable smartphone success

Foldable smartphone sales figures have been impressive considering how new and expensive the technology is.

Huawei claimed in January that it was selling 100,000 Mate X foldable smartphones per month despite the device only being available in China at the time.

Samsung said it sold between 400,000 and 500,000 Galaxy Fold smartphones between September and January.

Samsung also recently launched the Galaxy Z Flip, a second smartphone using a completely different form factor than the Galaxy Fold.

This device uses a clamshell folding design and results in the folded device being small and easily portable.

“As the world’s first foldable glass smartphone, the Galaxy Z Flip’s revolutionary form factor opens up a whole new world of mobile experiences, and gives you even more options to express yourself,” Samsung said.

Images of the Apple foldable smartphone patent are shown below.

apple iphone fold patent

Now read: Apple warns stores of iPhone shortages

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Apple publishes new foldable iPhone patent