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Apple’s Foldable Phones – Updates Patent

Apple joins the race of the future foldable phones, strengthens its position by updating current patents. Apple recently submitted an application describing how the future iPhones will look like with the foldable screens.

Despite its limitations, the foldable screen technology is quickly becoming an explosive “hot topic” this year, and every smartphone manufacturer looks to be researching this technology. Therefore, the industry’s expectations for this technology are monumental and are growing apace.

At the coming “MWC 2019” World Mobile Conference, smartphone makers like Samsung, Huawei, LG and Xiaomi are expected to the touch this subject in a way, and will even showcase their own devices.

At the same time, Apple is taking its own time on evaluating and experimenting on this technology. Supporting the previous rumours and comments from business insiders, Apple plans to introduce its primary foldable devices in early 2020, allegedly employing a “different approach”.

The recent application by Apple documents provides a series of intriguing style charts. These style charts permit a foldable screen to be mounted to a tool and work automatically in a nearly every doable way.

Apple Foldable Figure

These styles are a touch sophisticated and somewhat straightforward at the same time. The straightforward one consists of solely 2 elements, that are hinged along and can be folded together.

The first few figures seem to be an overly ambitious design, because with the current folding panel technology, it is not possible to bend at such extreme angles and small diameters.

Apple Foldable Figure

A more practical design is a slightly clumsy fold, similar to the folding in Figure 9. Of course, although we are limited by the current folding panel technology, this does not mean that the foldable screen device designs will be awkward.

In addition, wrapping the screen outside of the rest of the device is also a practical solution which seems to be the same method used by current smartphone manufacturers.

This is where the hinge design really comes into play. In fact, very interesting component positioning can also be achieved through a multi-link assembly. In addition, there are some more interesting possibilities, such as using different thicknesses and elastic joints. This is where material selection and curvature really work.

Apple Foldable Figure

Some people will say that devices with foldable screens must be symmetrical. Apple’s design drawings seem to have quite a lot of “roll-up” and tension-based designs, either to hold the panels in place or in a controlled manner, such as sliding or rolling.

These designs are applicable not only for the iPhones but will also include bigger devices such as the iPad or MacBook.

Surely in coming years, we will be seeing some similar and repetitive designs for the foldable smart devices.


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