Patent application could indicate that Apple is working on a foldable iPhone

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When it comes to a foldable iPhone. we’ve heard nothing from Apple but radio silence. There has been speculation about a 20.3-inch foldable MacBook and that rumor came from one of the all-time best analyst/leakers as TF International’s Ming-Chi Kuo said back in March that such a product is in development. Apple is reportedly concerned about the durability of a foldable iPhone but isn’t as concerned as much about a foldable MacBook.
Nonetheless, according to Patently Apple, a patent application that Apple filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) back in October of last year has been published by the USTPO and focuses on the hinge for an iPhone Flip. Titled Hinges forΒ  Folding Devices, Apple says, “A foldable display device may have housing portions coupled by a hinge. A flexible display may overlap the hinge. The foldable device may be moved between folded and unfolded positions using the hinge.”

The illustrations show a non-descript clamshell phone that folds around a vertical axis similar to the Galaxy Z Flip phones, the Motorola Razr models, and other phones that fold in this manner. The hinge moves both inwards and outwards although the former is the movement most associated with clamshell foldables. Some outward folding devices, like the Honor V Purse, do exist.Β 

The patent application mentions parts such as friction clips and synchronization gear plates. The patent submission doesn’t mean that Apple is definitely working on an iPhone Flip. After all, it submits many patent applications a year and only a small percentage of them ever become products or parts of a product.

Apple might consider creating a clamshell foldable iPhone before a book-style foldable. That might be due to the sales data which shows that the clamshell Galaxy Z Flip has been the best selling foldable over the last three years beating out the Galaxy Z Fold models.


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