There is no doubt that Samsung is the first company to think when talking about folding phones, and that is because the Korean company has plagued this new form factor for several years. An increasing number of reports a few years ago said Samsung was ready to launch a folding phone, but Samsung continued to delay it. The handset finally comes up in 2019, but Samsung will have plenty of competition from several major Chinese smartphone manufacturers, including Huawei and Xiaomi.
Meanwhile, Apple has worked on its own collapsible devices, though, as with any other Apple project, the collapsible iPhone is very secret. Nevertheless, there is plenty of evidence to support the idea that Apple is interested in collapsible devices, and we got even more evidence that such a handset might be in the making.
Titled Flexible Display Devices a patent application was just published on the USPTO website, after it was filed on October 1
If the pictures below appear to be known, it is because we covered a related patent all the way back in 2016, well before the launch of the iPhone X. At that time, we told you that the patent showed that Apple is studying this particular form factor, and that such a device will have an OLED screen. The first iPhone with an OLED handset arrived a year later: iPhone X.
What is interesting is that the old one The patent (9,504,170) is also called Flexible Displays . It was filed on July 18, 2014 and awarded to Apple on November 22, 2016. Furthermore, the new patent application is a continuation of the old patent, which shares the same inventors. Also, the images that Apple uses in the two documents are identical.
We look at pictures showing collapsible devices with two or three screens, as well as one or two hinges that allow the user to fold the handset. The images also suggest that Apple considers both iPhones that will fold in and out, with the screen placed either inside or outside the folded device.
Apple seems to study various types of folding devices for the future, and the technology described in these patents cannot be used only for smartphones, but also for other gadgets such as Apple stock, including iPads and MacBooks. "It would be desirable to be able to use flexible display technology to provide enhanced electronic devices," Apple writes after explaining that devices with LCD monitors are not flexible, but OLED displays will allow the display to bend.
In addition to these patents, we have also seen many rumors that Apple is considering foldable iPhones. One of the most mysterious ones said back in late 2017 that Apple can work on LG Display on folding iPhones to keep the design hidden from Samsung.
It's unclear when Apple's first foldable iPhone will start. The iPhone manufacturer is not expected to uncover new iPhone designs anytime soon. 2019 iPhones are rumored to look just like their predecessors.