ByAdeline Belluz 2019-05-16 1266
While other manufacturers have already introduced their first foldable devices, there are officially no plans from Applefor such a device. However, Apple already holds patents for foldable smartphones. Obviously, the manufacturer is at least dealing with the new form factor, although it is unclear whether there are already prototypes.
In a recent patent application is about the protection of the display. This is the biggest problem with flexible displays. Because glass is known to buckle bad and therefore the sensitive components of a display are protected by a flexible plastic layer from environmental influences. How durable this coating is, will only be able to show when Foldables are more common. Another problem is temperatures. According to the patent specification, low temperatures could increase the resistance of the display film and make it difficult to fold. If necessary, the display would even be damaged.
Apple's idea is to use built-in heating elements in the display even at high temperatures to heat the plastic of the display and keep it supple. Sensors monitor the temperature of the display in order to switch on the heating. The heating element would be in this concept at the point where the display is bent the most.
However, even Apple does not seem to consider a heater in the display to be particularly practical. Therefore, there is also the suggestion to automatically generate heat through the screen illumination. The software would display a warning if the display is not warm enough to bend. Another idea is to secure the display with a magnet and to release it only when a corresponding temperature is reached.
Rumors that Apple is working with LG on flexible screens to bring a foldable device on the market. It should be 2020 already, it is said. Although Apple already owns other patents that can be used for foldables, these patent applications never mean that an appropriate device is actually planned.
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