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Is Apple foldable in the works? A new folding iPhone patent surfaces online

Foldable iPhone

In the Android world, multiple smartphone brands are manufacturing folding phones. Samsung, Motorola, and OPPO are some of the big names in this category. When we talk about Apple, there has been a wave of rumors about a folding iPhone, but nothing concrete has surfaced online. Now, the latest patent leak shows Apple's folding iPhone with an innovative hinge mechanism.

Apple's patent filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) last October has surfaced online (via Patently Apple), showing a novel hinge design for the folding iPhone. The folding iPhone design bears a resemblance to the flip-style clamshell foldable similar to the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip series.

Leaked patent of a folding Apple device

However, the novel hinge mechanism that Apple is rumored to be considering for its folding iPhone has a greater range of motion. According to the leaked patent images, the hinge potentially allows the device to fold both ways, i.e., inwards and outwards. This will be a one-of-a-kind device on the market if it ever debuts. Notably, there have been rumors that a folding iPhone could launch in 2026.

According to the leaked patent images, the folding mechanism applies to a broad set of devices including phones, tablets, laptops, and other portable devices. But the patent allegedly hints that if Apple were to bring a foldable iPhone, then they could consider a clamshell design over a folding boo-like style for their first folding iPhone.

The patent image also shows that the hinge would come with synchronization gear plates with interlocked teeth, allowing for "synchronized rotational movement between the left and right halves of the hinge."

Do note that a patent doesn't confirm or guarantee a product release. Apple, like other manufacturers, files multiple patents each year. But only a fraction of those patents get converted into a real-life product. So, a folding iPhone might be launched in the future, or it will stay as a patent for some more time. Notably, there have been rumors that a folding iPhone could launch in 2026.

Let us know your thoughts on a folding iPhone, and would you consider a folding iPhone if it ever gets launched?

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