Apple patent details foldable iPhone

“In November Apple was granted a surprise patent for a possible future foldable iPhone using advanced carbon nanotube structures,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.

“Patently Apple was first to discover Apple’s original European patent filing for flexible display that could fold back in January 2014,” Purcher reports. “In December we posted a report titled ‘A Leading Supplier of Foldable Display Technology Confirms Five Tech Companies are Testing Foldable Smartphones.'”

“Apple along with Microsoft and others have been mentioned in a few tech reports claiming that they’re working on foldable smartphones and tablets. Microsoft recently surprised the market with a detailed patent covering such devices,” Purcher reports. “One of the designs that seems to be popular in the initial stages of foldable devices is the ‘Fold-Out’ form factor as noted in the Lenovo prototype illustrated [in the full article]. As you could see by our cover graphic, Apple’s patent figures clearing indicate that this future smartphone or mini-tablet could be folded.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Imagine this invention used not just in an iPhone, but also in an iPad and a MacBook.

12 Comments

    1. MDN might mean a foldable Mac Book touch dual screen but that would kind of make it identical an iPad given the same treatment except for MacOS & iOS differences. Do traditional keyboards even make sense in a foldable device?

    2. Pretty sure (haven’t read article yet, but know of a patent back in 2010), the MacBook has a keyboard on one side of Folding device… is the patent talking about two screen surfaces?

    3. Your attempt at sarcasm failed, I think.

      MDN is thinking along the idea of the recently stolen Razer laptop prototype with three displays – one sliding out from each side of the main display. With a foldable design, you could develop a similar design with a continuous ultra wide display.

  1. A MacBook can already be folded? Do MDN even get Apple – own Apple products or just own the stock? Reading MDN comments is like listening to that clue-less, camp dude on Cult of Mac Podcasts talk Apple products…

    Stop it.

    1. I want this. A MacBook that can fold out to the left and right to yield a 3x width screen. I’d totally use that. Apple won’t do it though. They have lost their leadership of the multi-monitor-workstation space. Which is something of an accomplishment, given Microsoft’s shoddy offerings in that regard.

      But. At least Apple does a great job of supporting powerful workflows on a single monitors with technologies like Exposé, Mission Control, and Spaces. So if they WERE to have a mandate to develop system support for new workflows on a 3x-wide laptop, Apple could do it better than anybody.

  2. I understand the iPad folding into an iPhone, and a 15 inch MacBook screen doubling or tripling in size when residing on a desk, but don’t understand why a computer monitor with an embedded computer inside needs to be foldable. Maybe the device has a retractable stand and folds into a smaller device like an iPad when going mobile. That means the screen is probably touchable. Cool.

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