Apple patent hints a foldable, bendable iPhone

November 6, 2016

Apple iPhone 8 is set to launch next, and reports suggest that Cupertino giant is expected to bring about a radical change for it as 2017 is the 10th year anniversary for Apple’s iPhone. Now a patent, filed in 2014, has been granted and published online by the US Patents and Trademark Office (USPTO) reveal Apple is working on overhauling the very base of iPhone. Going by the patent, Apple could soon introduce an iPhone with flexible screen. According to the patent, it talks of ‘polymer materials in the flexible structure may be molded to form bends.’
The text in the patent reads, “An electronic device has structures such as substrates and internal housing structures. The substrates may be rigid substrates such as rigid printed circuit boards and flexible substrates such as flexible printed circuits, flexible touch sensor substrates, and flexible display substrates. Carbon nanotubes may be patterned to form carbon nanotube signal paths on the substrates. The signal paths may resist cracking when bent. A flexible structure such as a flexible printed circuit may have carbon nanotube signal paths interposed between polymer layers. Openings in a polymer layer may expose metal solder pads on the carbon nanotube signal paths. A stiffener may be provided under the metal solder pads. Polymer materials in the flexible structure may be molded to form bends. Bends may be formed along edges of a touch sensor or display or may be formed in a flexible printed circuit.”
A figure posted on USPTO shows a smartphone that has a foldable hinge, running vertically along the device. The device, in the image, opens up like a rectangular notebook. The image caption read, “FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an illustrative electronic device that bends along a flexible portion such as a flexible seam associated with a hinge in accordance with an embodiment.”
Clearly, such an iPhone sounds vastly different from the current iPhone 7 series. The latest patent update is only going to raise expectations for this device, which a couple of months away from an official launch.


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