Foldable smartphones are creating a buzz in the market with the Samsung Fold and Huawei Mate X taking the forefront, though with a few snags. Yesterday, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple Inc. a series of 85 patents. Notably, among them was one patent for electronic devices with a flexible or bendable region.
More specifically, the patent is for an electronic device having a display layer and a cover layer that is configured to fold or bend along a flexible or bendable region. The flexible cover layer may be created using ceramic materials like glass, sapphire or zirconia to provide protection from impact or other potentially damaging scenarios.
One other patent features a tri-fold display, putting one folded layer on top of another like a wallet. The patent names some the product designers as well – Christopher Bartlow, who is a Product Design Engineer and a materials scientist will be working with Dale Memering, who is also a materials scientist, and Christopher Jones, a chemist who will oversee optics, design integration and performance reliability.
Last week, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple Inc. a series of 65 patents. Among these were patents for a four-side curved display, a method of forming structures from liquid metal, and a patent for signet/shape recognition contact-based hardware.
One of the patents refers to an automatic heating system at the device's fold to prevent cold temperatures from messing with the display as it is folded and unfolded. As far as a foldable phone from Apple is concerned, there are rumours that Apple has been working with LG to develop the hardware. The same rumours also state that we may see something along those lines by 2020.