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Apple envisions a foldable iPhone with a ‘self-healing’ screen

An Apple patent application published yesterday reveals an idea for a collapsible smartphone that includes a “self-healing” screen cover so that the device can repair dents or scratches that cover the screen. The application, discovered by Apple patent, was originally filed by Apple in January.

As Apple wrote in the patent application, the screen of the proposed concept will allow the device to repair itself without the user having to intervene manually. In theory, the collapsible self-healing can be activated automatically, for example when the device is charging or according to a predetermined schedule, and it will use heat, light or electric current to repair a protective layer over the screen.

The patent application also states that the screen cover of the hypothetical device may contain a layer of elastomer which may lose and regain shape to protect the sensitive internal function of a device. In theory, the material for this concept will make the collapsible screen cover more durable.

Several technology companies, including Samsung and Motorola, are already making different styles of folding phones, but Apple̵

7;s proposed self-healing feature will give these devices a unique spin. Samsung’s first time on this foldable phone, the Galaxy Fold, suffered from problems with the durability of the display screen. The phone was delayed after several assessment units failed in quick succession, something my colleague Dieter Bohn experienced in his assessment unit.

Basic self-healing technology has been seen in at least one smartphone already, LG’s G Flex from 2013. It had a self-healing back cover that was supposed to repair smaller scrapers, such as knife scrapers. However, it was not as effective: it could not recover from a key bottom during testing, with our reviewer comparing it to Wolverine if he could only grow from “paper clips and nothing else.”

There are no indications that Apple will soon launch a folding phone with self-healing material. But folding phones are something Apple seems to have been playing with for years, with other patent applications showing mockups of what a folding iPhone might look like if it ever were to be fulfilled.

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