Apple patent reveals more features about upcoming foldable iPhone

Posted By: Albert Cheung Published: 03/07/2020 Comments: 0

It seems like Apple is working on new technology devices. Recently, we had reported many new things from Apple that are in development. Today, we got another leak regarding the same topic.

This time, we got a patent from Apple, which is based on a foldable phone. The foldable phone from Apple was in leaks for a long time. The patent we got is applied by "Apple Inc." on 10th March. Moreover, it got approved by the US Patent and Trademark Office yesterday (on 2nd July). It is mentioned in the patent that it is an "Electronic Devices With Flexible Displays" (A Foldable Phone).



It is mentioned in the patent that:
"It is an electronic device that may have a hinge that allows the device to be flexed about a bend axis. A display may span the bend axis. To facilitate bending about the bend axis, the display may have layers such as a display cover layer with grooves or other recesses. The recesses form a flexible portion in the display layer. The display layer may be formed from glass or other transparent materials. Elastomeric material, fluids, and other materials may be placed in the recesses in the display layer. The material in the display layer may have an index of refraction that is matched to the index of refraction of the display layer. A hinge may be formed between rigid planar layers that are separated by a gap. Flexible layers that lie flush with opposing surfaces of the rigid planar layers may be used to span the gap."



The following 20 claims can fully explain this patent, which also describes the features of Apple foldable device.

1. A foldable electronic device, comprising: a housing that bends about a bend axis; an array of pixels located on a flexible substrate in the housing, wherein the array of pixels extends across the bend axis; and a layer of glass through which the array of pixels displays images, wherein the layer of glass forms an outermost surface of the electronic device and has a groove that extends parallel to the bend axis.

2. The foldable electronic device defined in claim 1 further comprising a flexible polymer material in the groove.

3. The foldable electronic device defined in claim 2 wherein the flexible polymer material comprises an elastomeric polymer.

4. The foldable electronic device defined in claim 2 wherein the flexible polymer material and the layer of glass has matching indices of refraction.

5. The foldable electronic device defined in claim 1 wherein the groove extends only partially through the layer of glass.

6. The foldable electronic device defined in claim 1 wherein the groove extends entirely through the layer of glass.

7. The foldable electronic device defined in claim 1 wherein the layer of glass has an interior surface and wherein the groove is one of a series of grooves in the interior surface of the layer of glass.

8. The foldable electronic device defined in claim 7 wherein the layer of glass has an exterior surface that forms the outermost surface of the electronic device and wherein the exterior surface extends across the series of grooves.

9. The foldable electronic device defined in claim 7 further comprising a polymer material that is located in the grooves and between the grooves.

10. The foldable electronic device defined in claim 1 wherein the housing comprises first and second housing portions coupled by a hinge that overlaps the bend axis.

11. An electronic device, comprising: a housing having first and second housing portions coupled by a hinge; a pixel array in the housing, wherein the pixel array forms a first display region on the first housing portion and a second display region on the second housing portion and wherein the first display region is configured to rotate relative to the second display region; and a rigid transparent cover layer that forms an exterior surface of the electronic device, wherein the rigid transparent cover layer has a first portion through which the first display region displays images and a second portion through which the second display region displays images, and wherein the first and second portions are separated by a flexible polymer material that overlaps the hinge.

12. The electronic device defined in claim 11 wherein the flexible polymer material comprises an elastomeric polymer.

13. The electronic device defined in claim 11 wherein the rigid transparent cover layer comprises a groove and wherein the flexible polymer material is located in the groove.

14. The electronic device defined in claim 13 wherein the groove is one of a series of grooves in the rigid transparent cover layer and wherein the flexible polymer material is located between the grooves.

15. The electronic device defined in claim 13 wherein the flexible polymer material and the rigid transparent cover layer has matching indices of refraction.

16. An electronic device, comprising: a housing having first and second housing portions that rotate relative to one another about a hinge axis; an array of organic light-emitting diode pixels having first and second display regions that rotate relative to one another about the hinge axis; and a transparent display cover layer having opposing exterior and interior surfaces and having a groove in the interior surface, wherein the exterior surface forms an outermost surface of the electronic device and extends across the groove.

17. The electronic device defined in claim 16 wherein the groove is parallel to the hinge axis.

18. The electronic device defined in claim 16 wherein the transparent display cover layer comprises glass.

19. The electronic device defined in claim 18 further comprising a flexible polymer material in the groove.

20. The electronic device defined in claim 16 wherein the groove extends only partially through the transparent display cover layer.

By observing the photos of patent, it can be seen that the phone can also be used by half folding it as we saw in the Galaxy Z Flip. Apple may launch this phone next year (in 2021) as the patent points us that this foldable phone is in development.

Check out the Apple patent here.

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