Tech giant Apple has filed a new patent showcasing a hinge design for a smartphone, as per a report by AppleInsider. The patent is related to a display technology that can fold out and expand along the hinge. From the looks of it, the design could be employed to build a foldable iPhone
The patent application is titled “Electronic devices having folding expandable displays”. The figure shown in the patent details a foldable device with the display folded at an angle of 90-degrees. There are multiple links as part of the hinge, which means that there are going to be a number of articulation joints if Apple proceeds with the design in the future.
As per the patent description: “ In some configurations, hinge structures for the device include gear teeth, belts, and/or other movement synchronization structures. The moving members in the hinge structures may include bars and links with opposing curved bearing surfaces. Stop surfaces may prevent excessive rotation of the bars and links with respect to each other. The bars and links or other moving members in the hinge structures may rotate relative to each other about virtual pivot points that lie outside of the hinge structures.”
While there have been foldable phones by Samsung, Huawei and Motorola, Apple hasn’t yet launched one. The reception for the Galaxy Fold, Samsung’s first foldable phone, was a mixed one initially, with reports of the displays malfunctioning arising. Samsung soon came up with moves to address the display issues with its next foldable device.
The Cupertino-based tech giant is probably looking at more than testing the waters when it comes to foldable iPhones and may end up with a device that is a success in one go, should it decide upon developing it commercially.