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Apple’s Foldable iPhone Patent Features Self-Healing Screen

TLDR: Apple granted a patent for a foldable iPhone with a self-healing display. Uses heat to restore the screen shape. Raises questions about Apple’s mobile market plans. Specifics unclear. Temper expectations.

A new patent awarded to Apple by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) hints at a potential game-changer in the foldable market.

The Self-Healing Display

The patent describes a device with a foldable display and a “self-healing display” that would use heat from various sources, including light, current, and external heat, to restore the display’s surface to its original shape. Additionally, the device would feature a layer at the top of its screen that would heal on its own.

While Apple hasn’t provided specific details on how the patent would work in practice, it raises questions about the company’s plans in the mobile space, particularly in light of long-standing rumours suggesting Apple has been developing a foldable iPhone to compete with Samsung and Google in the foldable market.

Foldable iPhone or iPad?

Some rumors also suggest that Apple might opt for a foldable iPad instead of a foldable iPhone.

Regardless, a foldable device would be a first for Apple, which has stuck with flat-paneled phones since the iPhone’s introduction nearly two decades ago. Apple’s entry into the foldable market could potentially jumpstart the industry and challenge its competitors.

The Significance of a Self-Healing Display

The addition of a self-healing display could be the key factor in the success of a future foldable iPhone. While foldables have generally received positive reviews, they often suffer from screen issues after extended use. A feature allowing the screen to heal on its own would be a significant addition to Apple’s handsets and could help the company establish a strong position in the market from the outset.

Interpreting the Patent

However, it’s important to keep a few things in mind:

  1. A patent award doesn’t guarantee that the technology will be incorporated into a device.
  2. The patent itself is quite vague, with the self-healing layer described as being made of “polymer or any desired material having self-healing properties.”
  3. The self-healing layer could “extend across the entire exterior surface of the display cover” or only cover a portion of the screen.

While it’s exciting to speculate about Apple’s plans for foldable devices, it’s best not to assume that the technology described in the patent will appear in a future handset.

Only time will tell.


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