Foldable smartphones seem to be the future in the tech market. With recently launched devices like Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X, the fold is apparently going to be the next big thing in smartphones.
Now, it seems Apple is gearing up to launch its own foldable device to register its name in the flexible revolution. A patent filed with the US Patent Office suggests that Apple is working on a folding iPhone, as reported by Patently Apple.
The latest patent designed is focused solely on the internal heating system for a foldable device’s hinge. Apparently, Apple is looking to bring some heat to the hinge to prevent the cold display from cracking.
“To facilitate bending about the bend axis without damage when the display is cold, a portion of the display that overlaps the bend axis may be selectively heated,” says Apple’s application, which can be read on Justia Patents.
According to the application, “the bend axis may be self-heated by illuminating pixels in the portion of the display that overlaps the bend axis or may be heated using a heating element or other heating structure that provides heat to the portion of the display overlapping the bend axis.”
The patent also details a “latching mechanism that prevents opening and closing of the electronic device when the temperature of the portion of the display that overlaps the bend axis is below a predetermined temperature,” which can turn out to be a challenge for the company.
The patent filing dates back to 2017, therefore, it is not certain if Apple will actually be going with this design. Nevertheless, Apple has been reported to be working on a foldable device which might debut in 2020.