Over the years, Apple has reportedly been planning to launch foldable-screen iPads. To further raise expectations, the tech giant has won a new patent for a folding screen with a “virtual shutter button.” The United States Patent and Trademark Office USPTO website shows that Apple has won a heavyweight patent relating to foldable devices.
Apple’s New Folding Screen Patent
The patent description shows the new technology enables users to accomplish specific functions by touching more than just the screen of the device. For instance, users can use the side of the gadget as a “virtual shutter button” to control the camera.
Additionally, users can adjust the volume by sliding their fingers up and down the device’s side. A picture of a foldable phone or tablet with a “wraparound” screen is also shown in the patent description.
Apple To Launch Foldable Device Soon
Apple has not yet introduced a foldable iPhone or any other device, unlike rivals like Samsung. But according to certain analysts, Apple will likely introduce such a product soon. The fresh patent that was obtained this time has increased people’s hopes even more.
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The patent may suggest that Apple will release a foldable tablet, but not this year, according to a note from UBS analysts. UBS thinks that the demand for upcoming iPhones will increase as a result of flexible screens. UBS analysts said in the report:
Foldable phones currently make up a very small portion of the entire smartphone industry. Foldable screen phones will only represent 1.1% of all smartphone shipments in 2022, according to IDC estimates.
Apple Foldable iPad Coming in 2024
Some analysts have projected that Apple may release a foldable device in the upcoming months, but it won’t be an iPhone. Because of the iPhone, Apple is hesitant to follow a new fad and instead prefers to wait for the technology to advance.
To this end, according to market research, CCS Insight, Apple will be the first company to release an iPad with a folding screen in 2024. Because it doesn’t make much sense to launch a foldable iPhone at the moment, Apple will sidestep this trend and take the lead in testing the waters with the iPad.