The recently launched iPhone X has the biggest screen-to-body ratio Apple has ever created for its smartphone line, but company isn’t done yet making the screen display more larger. A report earlier this week claimed that the Cupertino-headquarted technology giant is already working with LG Electronics on a bendable display designs. Apple is seemingly attempting to keep its master plan confidential from the other South Korean tech firm — Samsung, which is currently the sole supplier of foldable OLED displays in the market.
A patent application emerged over the Internet which has added weight to the rumored foldable iPhone detailing exactly the display technology that would allow the world’s most valuable company in terms of market capital to design and build devices with foldable screens.
Entitled “Electronic Devices With Displays,” the United States’ patent application 20170294495 was published on Thursday, October 12, with Apple Insider first reported it. The U.S. patent application is rather new, having been filed dating back in August 30th, 2016.
While the title of the patent is as non-specific as they get, it’s pretty clear from the blue print that it details Apple’ foldable devices.
Here’s the full abstract of Apple’s US Patent Application 20170294495:
“An electronic device may have a flexible portion that allows the device to be folded. The device may have a flexible display. The flexible display may have edge portions that are joined along a flexible middle portion. The flexible middle portion may overlap a bend axis and may be bent about the bend axis. Flexibility enhancement regions may be formed in a backing layer, polarizer layer, organic-light-emitting display layer, and other display layers to enhance flexibility for the middle portion. The device may have a display with a flexible tail that is bent about a bend axis. Metal trace on the flexible display may include metal trace strips that serve as power lines. Flexibility enhancement regions such as slot-shaped openings or other openings may be formed in the metal trace strips to enhance flexibility.”
The patent application proceeds to determine the display technology that the Cupertino would use in such consumer electronics products, including both OLED and micro LED displays.
Additionally, the patent application by Apple relating to foldable screen displays explains the aforementioned technology could be employed to equip other consumer electronic devices with a foldable screen, not just smartphone alone. The lists laptops, tablets, wearable smart watches, and other devices. It should be worth noting that Apple is already making the aforementioned machines and gadgets as well as other devices in addition to mobile handsets.
The patent focuses certainly on technology that would enable a device to bend and fold along an axis, without shattering the screen display, or compromising its functionality and immersive user experience. Instead, the company wants to bolster up the display with an improved flexibility regions that will enable a display to be folded without affecting the overall performance or exhibit bend-related mark lines along the folded region.
What’s more compelling relating Apple’s patent application is that the bendable hinge could be used to fold a smartphone whichever the user wishes. For an instance, the bendable device could be folded like a book or laptop with the screen display’s active is facing the user. But a flexible device could be folded like a wallet too, with the display filling up the exposed area of it.
Just because Apple is currently researching and developing this avant-garde technology, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we will have it as the iPhone X successors in the imminent years. It may be one of the various devices under research and development and will fall under new product category. But it appears definite that the only way to increase the display size of the iPhone, other than ditching out the notch on the top area of the iPhone X and increasing the iPhone’s size, is to embrace bendable screen displays.