By Jonathan Vanian
November 28, 2017

Apple’s next big innovation may be a foldable iPhone that opens and closes like a book.

The consumer technology giant filed a patent application last week with the U.S. Patent & Trade Office that details its research into electronic devices with flexible display screens.

A foldable iPhone could eliminate some of the inconvenience of carrying full-size smartphones in pockets and purses. Instead, people could fold and then unfold them like a piece of paper when they want to make a call or check their email.

The patent application said that the technology is related to any kind of electronic device that has a display, like a “laptop computer, a tablet computer, a cellular telephone, a wristwatch, or other electronic device (e.g., a portable device, handheld device, etc.).”

If it were to create a foldable iPhone screen, Apple could likely use similar technology in its other products like Mac computers and Apple Watch.

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Apple isn’t the only company reportedly interested in foldable smartphones. Samsung is also rumored to be working on a foldable version of its Galaxy branded smartphones.

It should be noted that just because Apple has applied for a patent, doesn’t mean that it will indeed create a foldable iPhone. Companies routinely file and receive technology patents that never become actual products.

In any case, for people who just forked over $1,000 for a new iPhone X—don’t expect them to bend anytime soon.

 

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