Although Apple has not yet launched a foldable iPhone, it can be seen from multiple patents that Apple is also developing a similar device, but it is not ready to launch. Recently, according to the list of formulas from the United States Trademark and Patent Office (USPTO), It was discovered that Apple has obtained a new foldable mobile phone patent, and the biggest highlight is to allow the crease area to heal itself.
Self-Healing Hinge Technology
Apple is exploring a new technique for self-healing creases through externally applied heat, light, electrical current, or other types of external stimuli. This technology has the potential to make folding phone screens more durable and reduce the risk of accidental damage.
In March, a patent on the self-protection of the folding screen iPhone was exposed. When the Apple folding screen iPhone detects that it is in a falling state, it quickly folds the device before it hits the ground, minimizing the impact of the ground on the screen. The self-healing hinge area will ensure the foldable iPhone’s durability and longevity.
Futuristic Foldable Design
Apple envisions a future device with a hinge, and the concept of a hinged device is also very interesting. This design will allow users to get more screen real estate in a single device, allowing the device to fold through the hinge. Using a flexible screen cover on the hinge section, inserted between the first and second rigid parts of the display cover, also has the potential to make the device more portable.
The hinged section in the center will make the iPhone highly portable as it can be folded. The foldable iPhone is likely to have a clamshell-like design that will snap into place when fully open or closed. The flexible display will bend at the hinge while maintaining connectivity across the fold.
Self-Healing Screen Layer
In order to improve the look and feel of electronic devices and reduce the presence of scratches and dents, Apple also plans to introduce a layer of self-healing material in the screen cover. The layer of self-healing material can be formed over the entire display cover layer or only in the flexible areas of the display cover layer.
The display cover layer may include an elastomeric layer in the flexible region of the display cover layer for added flexibility. The self-healing process can be realized by external stimuli such as heat, light, and electric current. This self-healing layer will ensure that any scratches or dents on the foldable iPhone screen will disappear over time, keeping its display looking as good as new.
When the self-healing layer is exposed to the external stimulus, the material in the self-healing layer may flow to fill in any scratches, dents, or cracks in the display cover layer, restoring the smooth and uniform appearance of the display cover layer. The self-healing layer is likely to be made of a polymer material or resin that can reversibly cross-link at room temperature.
Launch Still Far Away
While Apple’s patents provide a glimpse into its development of a foldable iPhone, an actual launch of such a device still seems far away. Foldable phones are still a niche and expensive product, and they need to become more mainstream before Apple dips its toes into this segment.
When Apple launches its first foldable iPhone, it will likely cost significantly more than a traditional iPhone. But if anyone can popularize the foldable phone concept, it is Apple, with its sleek designs and effective marketing. The foldable iPhone may start a new chapter in the smartphone segment and further boost innovation.