Another patent filing hints at a foldable iPhone (and/or iPad)

I’m still skeptical that Apple will ever release a foldable iPhone (and I’m 99% sure it won’t in 2021), but the tech giant continues to file patents for such a device. They could also involve a foldable iPad, which to me sounds a little more feasible. 

Patent filing 20200409428 is for “folding devices with geared hinges.” In the filing, Apple says that, if care isn’t taken, the display of an electronic device may not offer sufficient screen real estate to display information of interest to a user. At the same time, it can be difficult to enlarge the size of electronic devices too much to accommodate larger displays, because this can make devices bulky. Apple’s idea: a foldable device with geared hinges.

Here’s the summary of the patent filing: “First and second portions of an electronic device housing for the device may be joined using a hinge. A flexible display may overlap the first housing portion and the second housing portion and may bend along a bend axis as the first and second housing portions are rotated relative to each other using the hinge. 

“The hinge may include toothed members such as gears and a rack member. The rack member may have a surface with curved portions. The gears may include rotating gears that walk along the curved portions of the rack member as the electronic device is folded and unfolded. The hinge may include gears that are fixedly attached to the first and second housing portions and that engage the rotating gears. Linkage members may hold together gears and the rack member.”

The mock-ups accompanying this article are courtesy of Forbes, YouTube, and PhoneArena.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.