Nicki Minaj, Twitter, Fauci and the White House Jeff Bezos congratulates Elon Musk and SpaceX on launch iPhone 13 preorder Save $30 on the brand-new 2021 Apple iPad James Bond 007 Adidas sneakers Moderna's COVID-19 booster vaccine

Foldable iPhone suggested in new Apple patent

It's just in time for Samsung's Galaxy X folding phone reveal next week.

apple-patent-folding-phone

An updated patent by Apple shows various ways it could use a flexible or folding display.

Apple/USPTO

Everyday it seems like there are rumors and leaks about another company working on a foldable phone. Xiaomi, Huawei, LG, Lenovo, Motorola all are rumored to have a bendable or foldable phone in the works. On Thursday, Apple updated a patent with drawings of a foldable clamshell phone. This is a continuation of a patent originally filed in 2011 and updated in 2016 with a drawing of what might be an iPhone with a flexible display.

What makes this new update particularly interesting is the timing. On Wednesday, Feb. 20, Samsung is expected to show off more of its folding Galaxy X phone when it announces its new Galaxy S10.

The new drawings show a phone that folds up in half. It's a similar approach Motorola has in a patent for an updated Razr phone to make the phone more pocketable when not in use. Samsung and Xiaomi's approaches seem more about transforming a phone into a mini-tablet.

apple-patent-folding-phone-2

Two drawings showing a clamshell form factor with a display folding inward and another with it folding outward.

Apple/USPTO

Of particular interest are the various ways Apple shows incorporating hinges and housing around a flexible OLED display to make it bend. There are drawings of a clamshell design and another illustration is of a trifold design. The drawings show flexible screens folding up inward and outward which could indicate a use in something beyond a phone like a MacBook or iPad.

apple-patent-folding-phone-3

The patent shows off how hinges and housing can bend a flexible display

Apple/USPTO
apple-patent-folding-phone-4

Here's another drawing showing a trifold design.

Apple/USPTO

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

These new additions to Apple's patent for a flexible display are no guarantee that the company will release a foldable iPhone is 2019, but it's still exciting to think about.

Now playing: Watch this: Xiaomi's double-folding phone looks impressive in teaser...
2:17