Samsung recently demonstrated its foldable smartphone at Samsung Developers Conference 2018, which the company is all set to launch in early 2019. The South Korean giant is reportedly going to showcase the smartphone at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) next month.
Apart from Samsung, China-based Huawei is also going to launch its foldable smartphone next year. Now, a patent application from Apple reveals that the company is also looking to enter the foldable smartphones market.
Apple filed a patent in March of 2018 and which has now been publicly posted by the US Patent & Trademark Office. The patent shows that Apple is brainstorming various ways to make a foldable iPhone. The illustrations associated with the patent reveals a smartphone that folds both ways — inwards and outwards, known in the industry as fold-in or fold-out configurations.
In comparison, Samsung‘s flexible smartphone flexes only one way — inwards. As per the reports, this is because of unavailability of a screen that can stretch and survive a fold-out motion. However, Apple seems to be planning to do the same.
The patent describes the use of an OLED panel which makes a screen that can withstand multiple bends. Apple has slowly been switching away from LED since last year’s iPhone X. The company has also invented a coating, which combines a polymer with pigment flakes.
The coating once applied to an OLED panel (via spraying, dipping, or even printing), becomes a protective surface that can twist and turn without cracking or wearing easily.
The patent application means that the company is considering to create something but there’s no guarantee that it will be making the foldable iPhones. So, there’s no information available when the foldable iPhones could launch or if they will ever be made.