Samsung, for a couple of years, has been leading in the foldable smartphone market. This is, however, likely to change now that more OEMs are starting to include themselves in the segment. Despite there being competitions between Motorola and Huawei, Samsung has managed to lead. Motorola, however, has underwhelming specifications, while Huawei has had limited availability.
Just last month, Xiaomi has set its Mi Mix Fold in motion as its first attempt in this foldable smartphone niche. We anticipate that Oppo and even Google will introduce/launch their foldable devices in the coming months.
Moving forward, more phone manufacturers are expected to introduce their foldable devices. And since Apple is one of the most relevant companies in the smartphone, it’s natural to expect a foldable smartphone. However, a foldable iPhone may still take up to a year or two to reach the shelves. We have, however, peaked that the company is playing with concepts through their recent patent.
An application made by Apple to be granted Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has been accepted by the United States. This patent is for a new foldable smartphone. According to a schematics report by Patently Apple, the latest concept shows a supposed foldable iPhone capable of folding outward.
This outward folding goes against the features of current foldable phones such as the Galaxy Z Fold 2. These current foldable devices always have an inward folding design.
Expected advancements in the Apple foldable smartphone
One of the advancements presented by this patent is Apple’s attempt to make both the upper and lower folded screens equal in length.
The patent also shows that the sidewall that’s formed by folding the device would include either glass or other transparent material that can qualify all parameters. The material has better parameters, viewing quality, touch accuracy, and durability.
We can expect that the sidewalls of the sensors of the device may be both flat or curved. For the glass panels, Apple is aiming for a touch sensor with a variety of functions. These functions may include volume control, touch-sensitive, and interface navigation.
The expected device may even bring back the Touch ID with an in-display scanner. Additionally, the patent states the sidewalls may be both flat or curved. Apparently, Apple will decide within time which one will be the most durable approach. One of the parts of the Foldable iPhone display appears to be all-screen. The other part, apparently, features an under-display conduction earpiece for calling.
Foldable smartphones have posed a challenge in the past for phone manufacturers. This is probably the reason why Apple is not a haste to launch a foldable phone so soon.