Apple Patents a Foldable IPhone

There has been load of news about Apple and its competitors developing foldable smart phone.

This week, Apple acquired a new patent for a mobile device with a flexible screen that describes various possible pivot mechanisms, which may be the trickiest part of a foldable phone.

Prototypes of flexible displays have been around since 2013, and many brands seem interested to put them into production.

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 According to reports, Samsung may be the first company to launch foldable mobile phone, Huawei, Xiaomi, and Oppo will follow.

Apple’s latest patent is simply referred to as a “flexible display device” numbered 10,104,787.

“The flexible display can be mounted on the housing part that overlaps the hinge. The flexible display may bend when the housing parts of the device rotate relative to each other”, description of the patent document reads.

As shown above, the iPhone engineer is considering all the possibilities. The pivot design may include a hinge based on a three-bar linkage, a hinge based on a four-bar linkage, a hinge with a slotted member, a hinge formed of a flexible support structure, and a hinge based on a flexible housing structure.

Apple does not intend to launch a foldable iPhone in the short term. It is rumored that the earliest time for Apple to launch such a device is 2020 or even later.

Currently, there is no indication that Apple will launch a foldable iPhone in 2019.

Apple’s launch timing will be very much related to the popularity of foldable Android phones. If Apple’s competitors succeed, Apple may have to act quickly to join the competition and will immediately launch foldable smart phones.

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