New patents show Apple's foldable iPhone, featuring a curved screen and touch sensors
14th February, 2023 at 9:48 pm by Jacob
Image credit: ConceptsiPhone
- Apple was granted two new patents related to touch and haptic sensors on a foldable iPhone.
- This adds to Apple's previous patents and leaks regarding an "iPhone Fold."
- The new patents show possible design changes similar to previous Samsung Galaxy Edge devices.
New information about an upcoming “iPhone Fold” is constantly being revealed. Apple fans are left wondering when and if a foldable iPhone will ever see the light of day.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark offices granted the Silicon Valley giant two new patents regarding foldable displays with new touch and haptic controls. According to one of the new patents granted on Tuesday, Apple plans to add touch controls to the sides of the iPhone. Though this technology sounds interesting, it comes at the cost of durability.
Foldable phones are already fragile enough, and some users are concerned that side touch controls could cause more harm than good. For example, phone cases may become less effective, due to more empty space being required on the sides. Image credit: U.S. Patents Office Additionally, this new patent mentions touch sensor “layers” becoming “overlapable” by the device. The touch sensors could be hidden by a glass layer along the top, bottom, and “curved sidewalls” of the device. This, along with the figure's curved edges, further proves Apple is experimenting with software features to complement this added touch area.
Seeing how similar this iPhone could look to a Samsung Galaxy Edge, it's possible that Apple could attempt to implement shortcuts or quick actions, a spin-off of the Edge Panels feature from Galaxy devices that showed widgets, shortcuts, or other info by swiping inward from the display’s edge. Image credit: U.S. Patents Office The patent also mentions walls made of metals, plastics, fiber-composite materials, and transparent plastics or glass coatings. It also refers to an enclosure that would allow the phone to “be folded one or more times along one or more fold axes”
These new patents are important because they highlight Apple’s roadmap to release foldable devices. Apple analyst and leaker Ming-Chi Kuo recently rumored that a foldable iPad is coming as soon as next year.
Though we could still be several years away from the launch of Apple’s first foldable device, these new patents and developments show that it may be closer than we think.