Last year in Q3 Apple applied for a patent for a foldable display and it has been approved by the US Patent and Trademark Office. The patent application discloses the concept of an iPhone with two portions of the display with a foldable axis in between. This information backs rumours from last month that the Cupertino giant is working with LG Display on a foldable iPhone for 2020.
The patent, which was published by the USPTO and spotted by Patently Apple, reveals the concept of an upcoming iPhone which has a foldable portion. The device is shown to have two portions of the display which bends along the axis.
Apple's research notes say, "The material that forms layer 14 - 1 may be a shape memory alloy (e.g., nickel titanium) or a bulk metal glass (sometimes referred to as amorphous metal)."
"The flexible display may have a flexible display layer, a cover layer, a touch sensor interposed between the flexible display layer and the cover layer, a support layer, and a polariser layer," the report notes.
The patent application follows a previous report which suggests that Apple has partnered with LG and setting up a plant for manufacturing its foldable OLED panels for the upcoming iPhone. According to the report, LG's display division already has a dedicated team for developing the foldable screen panels for Apple.
South Korean electronics giant Samsung is set to unveil its own foldable smartphone known as Galaxy X. The official website's support page says that the smartphone will come with the model number SM-G888N0.
Moreover, LG Innotek is said to form a team who is supervising the product of Rigid-Flexible Printed Circuit Boards (RFPCB) for the foldable smartphone.
Apple is expected to unveil its foldable design of iPhone only in 2020, on the other side Samsung's Galaxy X could launch as early as next year. Based on what we know so far, the Galaxy X could come with two displays of which one will be flexible.
We can also expect that Apple can use the foldable display technology on different devices such as future iPads, MacBooks or Apple Watches.