Samsung seems to be betting big on folding phones, and other companies are exploring them too, so it might only be a matter of time before we also get a foldable iPhone. But a newly-granted patent suggests Apple might go in a slightly different direction.
A patent dubbed ‘System with multiple electronic devices’ was spotted by Cult of Mac, and it details a phone with two screens that can be combined to create essentially one large display, a bit like the LG Dual Screen.
Except, where that has a significant bezel between the displays, Apple’s implementation would look to minimize or remove the bezel, bringing it closer to the impression of just having a single screen.
That would make it a lot like true folding phones, such as the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, Samsung Galaxy Fold, and Motorola Razr, each of which really do just have one screen, but having two displays may allow Apple to avoid the durability issues of those devices.
It could also allow for a more versatile device, as if the second screen is detachable like in LG’s implementation, then users could choose whether they want a larger dual-screen device or a smaller single screen one at any given time.
The exact design Apple would use is unclear though, as the patent details multiple possibilities, including a design which allows for a large flat screen, a bit like the Galaxy Fold, and one which combines the screens at an angle, more like a laptop.
Of course, as ever with patents we wouldn’t get too excited about these possibilities, as wild and wonderful ideas are patented all the time, but many don’t come to fruition – and those that do are sometimes years in the making.
So don’t count on seeing either a dual-screen or foldable iPhone any time soon, but we already knew Apple was exploring the latter, so we might see one or both of these things at some point. Based on past form, though, the company will likely wait until the technology is perfected before debuting it.