Apple seems to be working on the development of a foldable iPhone. The company has applied for a patent for a display that can repair itself if there is damage caused by folding.
In the news: A patent filing from Apple at the end of January, which appeared at the USPTO last week, shows how they may want to enable a foldable iPhone in the future. The documents show a system with a self-healing top layer that must repair damage from the folds.
The background: Foldable smartphones are no longer new. For example, there are already the Samsung Galaxy Fold, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, Motorola Razr (5G), Huawei Mate X and Mate Xs. Until now, however, Apple seemed to stay away from that latest trend, but that may change soon.
- Many of the foldable smartphones that have entered the market in recent years have suffered from problems. Especially the display itself often turned out to be delicate. It quickly became permanent folds, something that received a lot of criticism.
- While brands such as Samsung and Huawei often market experimental software and hardware, Apple is known for only launching products that are completely finished and meet their strict quality standards. It is therefore not illogical that the company first looks for a way to avoid problems with damage to the foldable display.
The details: Apple’s new patent shows a way in which they want to enable a foldable iPhone in the future.
- “Displays are normally formed from rigid flat parts. While they are sufficient in many situations, rigid displays such as this one can be difficult to integrate into certain devices, such as devices with bendable housings, ”notes the 9to5Mac patent application. “When using an electronic device, the cover of the display of the electronic device may be scratched or dented. To improve the aesthetics of the electronic device, it may be desirable to minimize the presence of scratches and dents. To help reduce the number of dents, scratches, or other imperfections in a display cover layer, the display cover layer may include a layer of self-healing material. ”
- So it looks like Apple wants to provide its displays with a special coating. It must be able to fill and repair any damage caused by scratches or folds itself.
- Apple wants to do this by means of transparent conductors that can form a heating layer in the display. According to the patent, there may also be an external stimulus such as heat, light or electricity.
- Although Apple’s patent application is very extensive and detailed, that certainly does not mean that the foldable iPhone will actually be made. After all, Apple very often files patents for things that ultimately do not come.