There have been rumors of foldable iPhones and iPads. I’ve been dubious, but a new Apple patent filing hints that the tech giant is investigating such devices.
It’s for a “foldable cover and display for an electronic device” configured to be moved between a folded configuration and an unfolded configuration by bending the cover layer along the foldable region.
In the patent filing, Apple notes that, traditionally, electronic devices have a single form factor that may be driven by the size and shape of the display. Because many traditional displays are rigid or at least not flexible, a traditional device that is adaptable to accommodate multiple form factors includes the use of a mechanical hinge or pivot joint.
Apple says, that however, these traditional configurations used for traditional notebook and tablet devices are” inherently limited by the integration and size required by a separate mechanical hinge.” The tech giant is looking into a flexible display that doesn’t have the limitations or drawbacks associated with some traditional solutions.
(BTW, the accompanying mock-up of a foldable iPad is courtesy of in.mashable.com.)
Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.