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Fresh Apple foldable smartphone patents show it is working hard on the idea too

A fresh Apple patent shows it is still working hard on making a foldable smartphone. (Source: CNET/USPTO)
A fresh Apple patent shows it is still working hard on making a foldable smartphone. (Source: CNET/USPTO)
A fresh patent granted to Apple shows that the Cupertino giant is hard at work on its own foldable smartphone. Interestingly, there are several different types of options that Apple is looking at in terms of the way the screen folds, the number of folding segments, and the types of hinges that it might use.

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.

Apple is also working on a foldable smartphone concept with three segments. (Source: CNET/USPTO)
Apple is also working on a foldable smartphone concept with three segments. (Source: CNET/USPTO)
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 02 > Fresh Apple foldable smartphone patents show it is working hard on the idea too
Sanjiv Sathiah, 2019-02-17 (Update: 2019-02-17)
Sanjiv Sathiah
Sanjiv Sathiah - News Editor
I have been tech-obsessed from the time my father introduced me to my first computer, an Apple ][. Since then, I have been particularly interested in all things Apple, but also enjoy exploring and experimenting with any computing platform that I can get my hands on – I am the definitive early adopter! I have always been interested in how we can use technology to shape and improve our lives, most recently using it to record, mix and master my debut record, Acuity – Nature | Nurture.