Today, Apple’s patent application for ‘Electronic Devices with Flexible Display Cover Layers’ was published by the U.S Patent and Trademark Office. As per the filing, the foldable device will have a hinge to flex and the display cover with a self-healing layer.
The design language of the aforementioned Apple device is very similar to Samsung’s $2000 Galaxy Fold which has a single screen foldable design. Unfortunately, at the launch, the Galaxy Fold had major display issues and the smartphone became an “embarrassment for the company.
Apple’s Self-Healing Foldable Device
In the filed application, the Cupertino tech giant describes the design and functionality of the foldable device. The company calls it an “electronic” device and the illustrations depict a single screen gadget, therefore, it can be assumed that the device might be a new foldable iPhone or iPad mini.
An electronic device may have a hinge that allows the device to be flexed about a bend axis. A display may span the bend axis. To facilitate bending about the bend axis without damage, the display may include a display cover layer with a flexible portion. The flexible portion of the display cover layer may be interposed between first and second rigid portions of the display cover layer.
Interestingly, Apple will use a self-healing layer in the display of the device to prevent scratches, dents, and other display-related issues.
The display cover layer may also include a layer with self-healing properties. The layer of self-healing material may be formed across the entire display cover layer or may be formed only in the flexible region of the display cover layer. The display cover layer may include a layer of elastomer in the flexible region of the display cover layer for increased flexibility. Self-healing may be initiated or expedited by externally applied heat, light, electric current, or other type of external stimulus.
As exciting as this design is, it must be kept in mind that Apple does not necessarily develop all the filed devices. It is a likely possibility that this device never gets to see the light of day. Having said that, if the company is able to deliver a foldable iPhone without any display issues it will revolutionary in aspects of design and functionality.