Apple has undoubtedly been investigating a folding iPhone for years because it keeps patenting designs. Including one awarded on Tuesday for an iPhone that folds closed while leaving a portion of the screen exposed to display status updates.
It’s not yet clear whether foldable phones are a temporary gimmick or the future of mobile devices. But Apple’s certainly interested — and in a newly published patent, it describes its approach to solving one of the most often-raised problems with folding phones.
That problem? How to ensure that a foldable device doesn’t become creased or damaged when it folds. Early folding phones, such as Samsung’s troubled Galaxy Fold, have been plagued by this problem. But Apple engineers developed a solution that could help.
Samsung’s demonstration on the dangers of letting one’s reach exceed one’s grasp is almost over. The Galaxy Fold, the first mass-market phone with a foldable display, will reach US customers’ hands on Friday, many months after first scheduled.
Despite well-publicized problems, this company is already hard at work on a more affordable version. And rivals, including Apple, are also considering flexible screen handsets.
Samsung isn’t yet ready to commit to a release date for its troubled Galaxy Fold. Information leaking out last month had indicated the delayed folding handset might be out before July. However, Samsung said today that it isn’t prepared to commit to a timeframe.
Deciding now that an folding iPhone is a terrible idea is premature. There just isn’t enough information yet to judge whether any such device is something you’ll want. And it’s betting against Apple’s history of success in areas where others have failed.
While the first foldable devices from other companies have serious flaws, that in no way means any eventual Apple device with a flexible screen will be equally bad. There’s actually plenty of reason to think it won’t.