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Apple patent hints at flexible iPhones, iPads with hinges

Apple has been granted yet another patent (number 10,600,989) that hints at iPhones and iPads with flexible displays. This one involves the use of a hinge.

The tech giant notes that displays are typically formed from rigid planar substrates. Although satisfactory in many situations, “rigid displays such as these may be difficult to integrated into certain devices, such as devices with bendable housings,” Apple says. The company says it would be “desirable to be able to provide improved displays for electronic devices.”

Here’s the summary of the patent: “An electronic device may have a hinge that allows the device to be flexed about a bend axis. A display may span the bend axis. To facilitate bending about the bend axis, the display may have layers such as a display cover layer with grooves or other recesses. The recesses form a flexible portion in the display layer. 

“The display layer may be formed from glass or other materials that are transparent. Elastomeric material, fluids, and other materials may be placed in the recesses in the display layer. The material in the display layer may have an index of refraction that is matched to the index of refraction of the display layer. A hinge may be formed between rigid planar layers that are separated by a gap. Flexible layers that lie flush with opposing surfaces of the rigid planar layers may be used to span the gap.”

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the news editor of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.