Apple files hundreds of patents every year. And amongst those, several of them never see the day of light. This time, the Cupertino-based company filed a patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office regarding a design for a foldable phone.
Patently Apple, a website that keeps an eye on the patents filed by the company, gained access to the recent patent that showcases a design for iPhone. However, instead of being inward folding, the schematics revealed that the upcoming foldable iPhone may be folded outward.
Looking at the popular foldable phones available right now such as the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 and the Moto Razr 5G, all of them have inward folding designs. One can say that the patent closely resembles the Huawei Mate X in terms of design, albeit with some major differences.
Foldable iPhone patent design
If we closely look at the schematics, it looks like the patent wants to keep both screens equal in terms of length, thus eliminating the need for thick support. This is important so that the design flow isn’t broken. It also looks like the company is also aiming to make the hinge useful in some way.
According to the patent, the sidewalls of the phone may be either glass or some other material transparent in nature. It looks like the transparent sidewall will be load with several functionalities. The patent reveals that it will be loaded with numerous sensors and be able to perform operations such as control the volume, help in interface navigation, and might even act as a fingerprint sensor.
However, the inclusion of Touch ID on the sidewall might prove to be quite tricky. The sidewall of the device may either be curved or flat, entirely depending on what Apple might find durable. One half of the phone looks like all screen, while the other half looks like it might be installed with an in-display earpiece facilitating voice call. The patent also looks like its housing some connectivity ports on one side, implying it might be commercially viable sometime in the near future.
Rumors about a foldable iPhone pop up once in a while and we don’t expect Apple to launch a foldable anytime soon. But it might make its way to consumers sometime in the near future when foldable phones will be popular.