Apple has yet to unveil a foldable iPhone, but it’s been filing patents here and there that could end up being the building blocks toward one.
Now one recently published patent shows that the Cupertino brand intends to use a heating method to prevent the screens on such devices from breaking when they’re flexed.
As spotted by Patently Apple, the United States Patent and Trademark Office or USPTO published a patent application from Apple. It describes a method of heating a certain part of the phone so that the display wouldn’t crack when it’s folded via a bend axis under cold conditions.
“A display may span the bend axis. 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,” the abstract of the patent reads.
Put simply, Apple explains that a flexible screen is prone to damage when it’s bent in a cold environment, but a heating component could keep this from happening.
Needless to say, this isn’t set in stone. A lot of patents from Apple don’t really materialize in its commercial products, after all. At any rate, this shows that the company is working on a foldable phone.
Speaking of Apple patents, one that showed an iPhone bending both ways was turned into renders. Of course, they don’t represent the real deal, but if nothing else, they give a good idea of how a foldable iPhone could turn out to be.
Recently, manufacturers have been showing off their take of a foldable phone. Notable brands include Samsung and its Galaxy Fold and Huawei and its Mate X.
Others that are following suit include the likes of Motorola and Honor, to name a few. Still, there are some that aren’t into the idea, such as OnePlus and LG, who opted for dual screens and focused on 5G instead.