If a new patent application is to be believed, there is a foldable iPhone on Apple's radar.
According to a new report from Business Insider Apple has filed patents with the US Patent and Trademark Office showing various configurations of how a collapsible iPhone can work.
Apple's patent application is called "Flexible display devices" and serves as a not so subtle indication that a foldable iPhone is surely on Apple's radar. While some of the designs in Apple's patent application point to a practical device, they are merely concept ideas at this point and should not be taken as the final proof that a foldable iPhone is evolving.
Of particular interest are the various ways Apple displays embedded hinges and houses around a flexible OLED display to make it bend. There are drawings of a clamshell design, and another illustration is of a trifold design. The drawings show flexible screens that are folded inward and outward, which may indicate use in something beyond a phone such as a MacBook or iPad.
"Flexible screens can be mounted on the housing parts that overlap the hinges", read the application. "When the housing parts of a device are rotated relative to each other, the flexible screen can bend. The hinges can be configured so that the flexible screen can be placed in a front-to-front configuration where the active side of the screen is facing itself or a back -to-back-configuration where the active parts of the screen are facing away from each other. "
The drawings in the application show a clamshell device similar to the rumor updated Moto Razr, Motorola's upcoming foldable smartphone. The second and third sketch are hinted at the hinges that will allow the smartphone to fold smoothly. But the first designs do not give us a clear idea of the folding mechanism that Apple can choose, but it indicates that the company can work on having a number of hinge parts.
 There are also a couple of diagrams depicting a dual-play design with two hinges that will create three layers of the main body. Unlike Xiaomo's foldable smartphone that folds from the sides, Apple's patent describes a device whose sides fold in the opposite direction, hiding a large portion of the screen with the retractable portion.
These new additions to Apple's patent for a flexible display are no guarantee that the company will release a folding iPhone, is 2019, but it is still exciting to think about.
In related news, Samsung is expected to uncover both the Galaxy S10 series and the high-expected foldable smartphone – the Samsung Galaxy Fold – at an event later today.