According to a new patent, the iPhone foldable Apple may include a flexible body, able to protect the screen and the hardware of the device.
The main challenge to which the main manufacturers of devices folding as Samsung will need to undergo is to find a design that is at the same time strong but also flexible, in such a way that the display can break. But that’s not all, because the companies must also develop effective ways to house the device, with a chassis and a cover that protects the device, while maintaining the flexibility of the same.
A new patent granted by the patent Office and trademark United States on Tuesday, titled “Body and bendable displays for an electronic device” shows us how Apple images to create a smartphone foldable, equipped with a flexible display and an external body that may allow the device to bend.
Apple suggests the use of sheets of flexible roofing, and a layer of flexible display coupled with one another. The two levels are configured to be able to move between two different configurations, both when folded and open, with the roof covering that goes to bend at specific points called “the region of the fold“.
This area could be created by using a ceramic material, such as glass, ceramic, metal oxide or other ceramic material. In some cases, it may also be constituted by a continuous layer of a ceramic material, that provides a surface resistant to knocks or scratches, and by a second inner layer that can be used to attach to layer of the display.
The continuous layer may be treated so as to have a variable thickness, in such a way as to be able to bend at specific points. This can also include the addition of elements of relief on the inside or outside, to allow the material to move, filled with a soft material to provide support, while remaining malleable.
A similar situation could be adopted also to the substrate of the display, allowing it to bend along specific lines. Also in this case, to maintain a certain strength, it is possible to fill the glass substrate with the sections in relief filled with a transparent plastic or silica. In this way, in case the material is subjected to a strong compression, can still move around, thus avoiding breakage.
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Using a layered structure, Apple could produce a device with design multi-fold, type, zig-zag, in such a way that the device can be folded with two types of different folds.
This patent is something completely new for Apple, as it is a modified version of an issued patent in 2018, so much so that the list of inventors is the same: Christopher D. Jones, Dale N. Memering and Christopher C. Bartlow.
Of course, as with all patents, there is no guarantee that this technology or something similar may never see the light of day in a product intended for sale, however,it is clear that the company from Cupertino is investing a lot in the development of the technology fold.