“Apple’s invention covers the implementation of bendable metal traces that won’t break or crack under conditions of the display that require bending or curvature,” Purcher reports. “This supports Apple’s patent application regarding hollow structures that include a possible future iPhone. Bendable metal traces represent a key attribute to assist the design of durable flexible displays for future devices.”
“According to Apple, the display may be an organic light emitting diode (OLED) display. The display includes a flexible substrate that supports an array of pixels or sub-pixels and thin film transistors that drive each pixel or sub-pixel. The display may be flexible about one or more axes. For example, the display may be rolled to form a cylinder or bent into a non-planar shape. By providing such flexibility, portability and certain operations of the display may be enhanced,” Purcher reports. “Conventional metal signal lines or traces are straight, and may be subject to cracking or breaking when the flexible display is bent. That is, the bending motion may strain the metal lines, which may result in cracking or breaking. Accordingly, certain embodiments disclosed herein employ serpentine metal traces.”
More info, including Apple’s patent application illustrations, in the full article here.
Apple granted Liquidmetal patent for hollow structures in possible future product designs – April 23, 2014