I still don’t think that Apple will make a “foldable” iPhone. Sure, the company has been granted various patents for such a device. However, the tech giant is granted patents for many inventions that never see the light of day.
I could be wrong, of course, and according to The Elec, Apple is expected to use “hybrid” OLED panels in its first OLED iPad that it will launch in a few years. Hybrid OLED panels refer to OLED panels that use both rigid OLED panel and flexible OLED panel technologies.
What does this have to do with an “iPhone Fold”? The Elec says Apple isn’t too keen on using flexible OLED panels — which are mostly used in premium smartphones — as some parts of the screen may look crumpled. The crumples are likely caused by how flexible OLED panels are made. The Elec claims that Samsung Display and LG Display are currently developing an ultra-thin glass substrate for use in hybrid OLED panels that aren’t as prone to crumpling.
I think that Apple is more likely to release an “iPhone Curve” than an “iPhone Fold.” The giant has filed for various patents that hint at a curved iPhone with a wraparound display.
For example, patent filing 202200111822 is for an “electronic device with wrap around display.” It’s designed to expand “the functionality of portable electronics devices by providing a more efficient mechanism for presenting visual content is disclosed.
Apple notes that in the last few years the functionality of portable electronic devices has increased exponentially. Further improvements be realized by investigating ways to maximize the utility of unused portions of these devices.
Apple says that form factor is an “interesting area” for development given that a large majority of portable electronic devices have settled into a standard form factor. The tech giant adds that, unfortunately, this popular form factor, leaves the sides and rear surfaces of the device unused or at best configured with buttons and switches with fixed location and functionality.
Since many of these buttons and switches have fixed functionality they can’t always be incorporated into third party applications. Apple says there’s a need for an “improved form factor for portable electronic devices which allows functionality to extend to more than one surface of the device.”