The US Patent and Trademark Office has just granted Apple a new patent for a foldable screen that could be used in future iPhones or other devices from Apple. The patent describes that the display and the cover of an electronic device are flexible or bendable.
Apple filed the patent application last year in January, along with other patents that also revolve around the idea of a foldable display. Considering that many companies are looking to manufacture a smartphone that can be folded, it’s no wonder Apple wants to try their hand at the new tech. However, we must all remember that not all patent ideas can be integrated into products if they’re not feasible.
What does the tech world believe about a foldable iPhone?
Daniel Ives, who is an analyst at Wedbush Securities, explained in an interview with CNN Business that:
“Foldable phones and 5G represent the next generation of smartphones in the coming years,” and added that Apple has been on the fence about this tech for years, starting back in 2017.
The past patents filed by Apple included flexible displays that had touch sensors and parts that would open and close a device like a book. There was also an idea of a flexible iPhone that would fold in half, and you could just clip in on your clothes like a pin.
Ives added that this new patent from Apple “shows this is something on its roadmap.”
Back in February 2019, both Samsung and Huawei presented their foldable smartphones, but months have passed, and the manufacturers are struggling to deliver their products to the market after some technical issues.
Some of the negative reviews were for the $2,000 Samsung Galaxy Fold, which broke after 2 days of use because the people that tried the device peeled off an essential protection for the screen, thinking it was only a removable screen protector. Samsung had to delay the launch in April, and last week Best Buy even canceled all pre-orders of the Galaxy Fold.
Meanwhile, Samsung stated that they would improve the protective screen, also enhancing “the guidance on care and use of the display including the protective layer so that our customers get the most out of their Galaxy Fold.”
Huawei won’t be able to deliver any new devices to the US after the export ban. As for the foldable device from Apple, Ives believes that, if they’re actually working on one, the company might be able to release a foldable smartphone by the end of 2020 or in early 2021. He concluded that, while Apple is behind Samsung, they have an advantage considering that the “Galaxy Fold has had technical issues as well as expensive pricing.”