According to Seekdevice, a recent Apple patent for the latest foldable iPhone is exposed: it uses a very unique flexible screen design to solve the folding problem.
Apple plans to cut a series of grooves inside the glass, which will give the glass a high degree of flexibility. This process is called slitting in wood, and these grooves are made of elastomeric polymers with the same refractive index as glass. Or fluid filled , and the rest of the display will be normal.
The patent content is as follows:
- The electronic device has a hinged folding structure, allowing the device to be folded around its axis. The display may overlap with the bending axis.
- The display may have one or more layers of structure, such as grooves or corresponding cover layers. The display cover layer may be formed of glass or other transparent materials. The groove may form a flexible portion in the display layer, which allows the glass or other transparent material of the display layer to bend around the bending axis.
- The groove can be filled with polymer or other materials. The display layer may have an opening filled with liquid, and in the display layer composed of a flexible glass or polymer structure, a corresponding groove may be filled with a material having a refractive index matching the glass or polymer structure.
- The separated rigid plane gaps can form hinges. The rigid planar layer may be a glass layer or other transparent layer in the display, or may be a housing wall or other structural part of the electronic device. A flexible layer that is flush with the opposite surface of the rigid planar layer can also be used to span the gap to form a hinge.
From the perspective of patents, Apple’s mechanical folding by using soft materials is not too complicated, but this method requires higher manufacturing.
Some Taiwanese media said that Apple will launch the folding iPhone as soon as possible in 2021.