While we have heard about what are folding smartphones, in addition to having seen a prototype by Samsung and many demonstrations about folding OLED panels, it seems that Apple may finally be willing to make an appearance in this area, or at least intends to do so. The Cupertino company filed a patent which is published by the US Patent & Trademark Office that indicated to coatings “having flake pigments needed to protect the display of a device, such as a future iPhone, that is capable of bending in half without damage.”
This is what an Apple patent indicates to us in which we see a concept of a collapsible terminal that, surprisingly, could do it both inwards and outwards. As is logical to think, one of the most immediate concerns when thinking about folding screens is the mechanical resistance to this effort, which could be fatal at the point of flexion of the device towards one direction. It would be unimaginable to think that a screen could return to its original state after folding it in two opposite directions.
The patent filed clearly showcases that the future iPhone can be folded into one device having a flexible display. These types of folds are also known in the industry as fold-in or fold-out configurations. The patent was filed in March 2018 and the timing of publishing by the regulatory authority of such a product in the market is unknown at this time.
Apple describes the use of an OLED panel with a surface layer made with a special polymer that once applied to the panel, either by spraying, dipping, or even printing, would provide much better mechanical properties that would allow the panel to be easily manipulated the pair that resistant.
Undoubtedly, there are many unknowns questions that are raised and what we can see in the image, is no more than a simple sketch of what at some point of development could be discarded, or on the contrary, become a prototype.