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Apple applies for foldable phone patent

Apple intends to use a single foldable screen instead of a dual-panel setup. (Source: USPTO.gov)
Apple intends to use a single foldable screen instead of a dual-panel setup. (Source: USPTO.gov)
Apple's patent involves a single flexible display made of carbon nanotubes, micro-LEDs and a special shape memory alloy based on liquid metal.

When Samsung, Microsoft and several other Chinese OEM smartphone companies hint at foldable phones being the next big thing, they clearly must be on to something. It looks like Apple has come to the same conclusion, as the company just filed for a foldable phone patent of its own, practically confirming the rumors surrounding a possible foldable iPhone that could be released by 2020.

The patent reveals that Apple intends to integrate an actual flexible, foldable screen instead of dual-panels. According to the patent document, Apple’s foldable screen would make use of carbon nanotubes and optically clear adhesive. The carbon nanotubes act as an anti-corrosion additive to prevent deterioration of sensitive structures in the foldable pattern. The display itself would feature micro-LED technology, while the overall integrity of the device could be supported by a shape memory alloy made of liquid metal, which could take the form of nickel titanium or bulk metal glass.

The patent application was started back in Q3 2016, so Apple could sit on it for a bit and see how well other iterations from Samsung and Microsoft are received before going all in on this design. The 2020 scenario seems more suitable for release in this case.

Schematics featured in the foldable phone patent files (Source: Patently Apple)
Schematics featured in the foldable phone patent files (Source: Patently Apple)

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2017 11 > Apple applies for foldable phone patent
Bogdan Solca, 2017-11-24 (Update: 2017-11-24)
Bogdan Solca
Bogdan Solca - News Editor
I stepped into the wonderous IT&C world when I was around 7. I was instantly fascinated by computerized graphics, be them from games or 3D applications like 3D Max. I like to keep myself up to date with all the new technologies that get released at an ever increasing rate these days. I'm also an avid SciFi reader, an astrophysics aficionado and, as of late, a crypto geek.