Fresh Apple foldable smartphone patents show it is working hard on the idea too
We know that Apple is going to lag behind the competition when it comes to the launch of both a 5G-capable iPhone and the launch of its first folding smartphone. Rumors for the devices point to a launch of a 5G-capable iPhone in 2020 and a folding iPhone (iPhold?) sometime after that. This will put Apple well behind its chief competition with both Samsung and Huawei expected to launch foldable smartphones as soon as MWC19 in just over a week’s time.
However, that doesn’t mean that Apple is asleep at the wheel on this front. In fact, CNET has uncovered a freshly granted patent for a folding iPhone that could take many different incarnations, depending on which solution Apple ultimately settles on. The illustrations show devices that can fold open or fold inward. The hinges vary accordingly, while there are also images of a folding smartphone that has three folds, making it more like an iPad in size.
We know that Google is also working closely with the likes of Samsung to make Android work effectively on devices that can be folded, but if there is one area where Apple continues to have a distinct lead on the competition, it is with the wide range of iOS apps that work just as well on an iPad as on an iPhone. As Android tablets have largely failed to set the market alight, there are very few Android tablet apps that are going to translate as well on a folding smartphone as they might on something from Apple.
Let’s hope then, that the rise of folding Android smartphones will lead to a resurgence of interest from Android app developers in creating software that is optimized for a larger interface. Otherwise, even if Apple is late to the game, as it often can be, it may end up walking away with the main prize anyway.