Apple’s latest patent suggests a foldable development

Apple has patented a new display technology that hints at the possible development of future foldable iPhones and iPads.

According to Patently Apple, the new patent (reference number 20220270522) published by US Patent & Trademark refers to a device that could have a screen that is resistant to “warp-induced damage,” that is, any damage caused by contact with a stylus, a finger or other object.

Images (FIG. 2) of the device show a foldable device with a central hinge, while the display itself is said to potentially feature a display cover layer and a display panel that folds around a curved access. The cover layer could have an array of pixels arranged to display an image on the cover layer, formed by a thin film display circuit that is supported by a flexible substrate.

Even more interesting is that the patent says that the flexible substrate could be supported by a display support plate that could bend around one or more axes, as in a tri-fold device.

Rumors of an Apple foldable have surfaced several times in recent months, with previous reports saying the company is developing an OLED panel without a polarizer, allowing it to be slimmer. A similar panel was developed for the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3.

Samsung has led the charge with foldable devices, announcing the launch of its latest Galaxy Z Fold4 and Flip4 smartphones. The company has also stated that by 2025, 50% of its premium devices will be foldable.

Apple has patented foldable technology several times before, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the company looking to compete with Samsung, as well as other companies like Motorola in the foldable space.

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