The smartphone industry seems to think that foldable displays will be the next big thing after the so-called bezel-less trend. And so, the race is on. Samsung has long been rumoured to be working on such a smartphone. Now, its arch-rival, Apple also is working on one, if a patent filing is to be believed. A patent application from Apple published by the US Patent & Trademark Office has just made its way into mainstream media.
Not getting into the technical stuff, the patent describes a display that will be foldable like a book. The patent application reads, “An electronic device may have a flexible portion that allows the device to be folded. The device may have a flexible display. The flexible display may have a bending region that allows the display to bend along a bend axis when the device is folded.”
Now, this is not the first time we’ve heard about Apple working on a foldable display. Just last month, Apple was said to be working with LG to produce bendable OLED displays, pumping money into LG’s new production plant. In fact, LG’s first OLED display production has just commenced at its E5 plant in Gumi, North Gyeongsang Province.
Earlier reports have suggested that Apple might bring a foldable phone to market by 2021. Industry experts say that by the time this happens Apple will have transitioned to microLED screens. The Cupertino giant has been gradually moving away from Samsung, its chief display supplier, with Apple growing wary of relying too much on its strongest rival. According to latest reports this week, Apple has been in talks with TSMC in relation to microLED displays.
A quick disclaimer. Apple files patents for a lot of things but not all of them make it to the consumer market.
Meanwhile, Samsung seems to have an edge over Apple in this race as the Galaxy X is strongly expected to be unleashed in 2018.
Excited to see a foldable smartphone? Let us know in the comments below.