Apple granted a second patent for a folding iPhone with flexible hinge

“Apple was granted a patent covering a folding iPhone back in November 2016,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple. “Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark published Apple’s second granted patent for Apple’s folding iPhone.”

“Apple’s second patent win covers a new round of patent claims that define the additions to the original invention. The main focus is on a flexible hinge,” Purcher reports. “The secondary point touches on the use of fabric for the housing.”

“When the foldable iPhone is closed, it would appear that Apple is contemplating having the topside cover acting as a third display,” Purcher reports. “This is a very interesting addition.”

Apple patent application illustration of a folding iPhone with flexible hinge
Apple patent application illustration of a folding iPhone with flexible hinge

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: To make it thin enough when folded, one might imagine something more than mere aluminum would suffice. Liquidmetal, perhaps, finally?

As we wrote back in January 2016, “Imagine this invention used not just in an iPhone, but also in an iPad and a MacBook.”

Apple gets 49 new U.S. patents including a foldable iPhone and an iPhone design invented by Steve Jobs – September 4, 2018
BoA Merrill Lynch: Apple is prepping a ‘foldable’ iPhone; U.S. and China trade tensions not an issue for Apple – March 23, 2018
Apple seeks patent for a foldable iPhone – November 28, 2017
Apple teams up with LG Display for foldable iPhone due to concerns over tech leaks to Samsung – October 11, 2017
Apple, LG Display discuss OLED display deal for 2019 – September 7, 2017
LG Display to supply OLED panels to Apple – July 31, 2017
Apple to invest $2.70 billion in LG Display’s OLED production – July 28, 2017
Apple and LG Display plan to derail Samsung’s OLED expansion plans – July 25, 2017
LG Display to invest $3.56 billion in flexible OLED plant – May 30, 2017
Apple patent details foldable iPhone – January 26, 2017
Apple granted U.S. patent for bendable or foldable iPhone using advanced carbon nanotube structures – November 1, 2016
Will the next-gen iPhone be a flip phone? Apple is granted another patent for new flexible handset design – November 22, 2016


    1. A significant difference between flip phones and a folding iPhone is that the display is hinged and folds up, meaning that you get twice the screen area for a given overall size. The old flip phones had the display on one half and the keyboard on the other and like you, I didn’t like them.

      A folding iPhone still might not be to your taste, but there’s a lot to be said for having an iPhone which can slip into relatively small pockets, especially now that the iPhone SE has been discontinued.

      1. My son is very upset at the loss of the SE! He has smaller hands than me (and mine don’t even fit the iPhone 7 I have still), and he still uses the headphone port for everything audio. He has started adapting to Bluetooth on some things, but isn’t really ready to make the jump. But alas, his SE no longer holds a charge throughout the day, so he’s looking at the new iMonsters.

      2. Actually I liked flip phones. But forgetting that if you get a phone that acts close enough to a present iPhone while folding to half the size then I would say that like flip phones or not, many would jump at the idea. Especially as related elsewhere when some of us love smaller phones but seem now to be out of the Apple loop. A small phone with a big screen would be my dream phone if it is affordable though that I don’t see for some years, even if this idea reaches the light of day.

  1. It needs a point partway where it locks into a decent viewing angle for the half of the screen that is showing at the time. Not for movie watching or anything, of course, but for just notifications, emails, texts popping up while at work for those of us who don’t want Apple Watches. I would use that!

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