Many companies have launched their version of folding screens such as Samsung, Motorola, and Microsoft. And now Apple plans to join the club.
After successfully releasing a 5G smartphone, Apple is moving ahead with next innovation for its iPhone, i.e. Foldable display.
Samsung, one of the leading 5g companies, is currently enjoying the biggest market share for foldable smartphones. The company has three foldable phones. And as per our previous post, Samsung is even working on a Rollable display now.
Besides, the Chinese smartphone vendor, Huawei also released a foldable smartphone. So, it looks like Apple is the only one left.
And while it may seem like Apple is late to the party, it turns out they have filed multiple patents in the past which talk about folding iPads, iPhones, and more. And now Apple has filed a new patent.
On April 15, 2020, Apple Inc. filed a patent application that talked about a folding phone titled “Folding Electronic Devices With Geared Hinges.”
The patent states that the invention covers an electronic device that may have a foldable display. A foldable housing will be used in supporting the display to enable it to fold and unfold. The first and second support structures will be joined at a hinge which will allow the support structures to rotate.
The hinge will include toothed components such as gears and a rack. The gears themselves may include rotating gears that walk along the curved portions of the rack member as the electronic device is folded and unfolded.
Some of the gears on the hinge will be fixed and attached to the first and second housing portions and that engage the rotating gears.
The images below illustrate the device in both the unfolded and folded positions and show the side views of the hinge mechanism.
Apple stated the reason behind creating a folding device as the difficulty faced in enlarging screens. Increasing the size of electronic devices too much to accommodate larger displays can make devices bulky.
The United Daily News’ report noted that Apple is developing two new devices, one of which is a dual-screen model and the other is a model with a recessed top and bottom, similar to Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip or Lenovo’s Moto RAZR.
At present, the shells of these two folding devices are being tested at the Foxconn factory in Shenzhen along with the durability of the folding hinge.
Apple’s another model that folds up and down is being tested and may be a folding screen model that is actually equipped with Samsung’s flexible OLED screen panel. Upon assessing the test results, Apple will evaluate the most likely model to launch and abandon the other model.