Foldable IPhone suggested in the new Apple patent


folding apple phone

A patent updated by Apple indicates different ways to use a flexible or folding screen.

Apple / USPTO

Every day it seems that there are rumors and leaks about another company working on a foldable phone. Xiaomi, Huawei, LG, Lenovo, Motorola are all rumored to have a foldable or collapsible phone in the works. On Thursday, Apple has updated a patent with drawings of a foldable flip phone. This is the continuation of a patent originally filed in 2011 and updated in 2016 with a drawing of what could be a iPhone with flexible screen.

What makes this new update particularly interesting is the timing. Wednesday, February 20th Samsung should show more than its folding phone Galaxy X when he announces his new Galaxy S10.

The new drawings show a phone that folds in half. It's a similar approach Motorola has patented an updated Razr phone to make the phone easier to put in pocket when it is not used. The approaches of Samsung and Xiaomi seems more about the transformation of a phone into a mini-tablet.


Two drawings showing a shell form factor with a foldable screen inward and another with a folding towards the outside.

Apple / USPTO

The different ways in which Apple shows the integration of hinges and housing around a flexible OLED display to fold it are of particular interest. There are drawings of a shell design and another illustration is a tri-fold design. The drawings show flexible displays folded in and out that might indicate use in something beyond a phone such as a MacBook or an iPad.


Patent shows how hinges and case can bend a flexible screen

Apple / USPTO

apple-patent -olding-phone-4

Here is another drawing showing a tri-fold drawing.

Apple / USPTO

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

These new additions to Apple's patent for a flexible display do not guarantee that the company will release a collapsible iPhone dating back to 2019, but it still remains exciting to think about it.

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