Samsung may have been toying with the idea of building a foldable Galaxy device and launching it next year for quite a while now, but Apple is reportedly also interested in the tech. The Cupertino-based tech giant has applied for a patent for a foldable electronic device earlier this month, though it’s not certain whether the patent specifically applies to a future iPhone.
According to the patent application, the foldable electronic gadget could come in the form of a laptop, desktop computer, mobile phone, or wristwatch. Apple haven't commented whether it is planning on incorporating the flexible display into its line of smartphone products in particular. The abstract of the filing also states:
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 flexible display layer, a cover layer, a touch sensor interposed between the flexible display layer and the cover layer, a support layer, and a polarizer layer. The polarizer layer may be interposed between the touch sensor and the flexible display or between the touch sensor and the cover layer. The touch sensor may include optically clear adhesive that is flexible and facilitates bending of the display. The optically clear adhesive may include additives such as water vapor penetration reducing additive, anticorrosion additive, ultraviolet-light blocking additive, and index-of-refraction adjustment additive. The support layer may be formed from shape memory alloy or amorphous metal and may have openings to facilitate bending.
If ever a foldable iPhone makes it to production in the future, Apple and Samsung may once again find themselves in a fierce rivalry as the South Korean phone maker aims to release a foldable Galaxy device in 2018, according to its President of Mobile Business, Koh Dong-Jin. In fact, it was reported last April that Samsung has been testing a foldable dual-display smartphone for quite sometime now.
Samsung was first rumored earlier this year to be planning on launching a foldable phone in the third quarter of this year, but that did not happen. Apple, on the other hand, is reportedly working with LG to develop a foldable OLED screen for iPhone devices. It’s not clear whether the same technology under that supposed partnership is contained in Apple’s patent application, but both the company and Samsung have to address various technical challenges first before producing a foldable phone with a sensible design.
Source: The Next Web