Apple Granted a Flexible / Foldable iPhone Patent

As we published earlier, Samsung and LG are preparing to launch foldable smartphones and tablets in the 2nd half of 2018. And Apple does not want to the left behind. However, according to the reports, Apple will not launch any foldable device in 2018, but patents are a strong sign of focus toward it. Which means in the near future we may see a foldable iPhone.

Claim #1: An electronic device, comprising: a flexible display that is movable between a folded position and an unfolded position; a sensor that detects whether the flexible display is in the folded position or the unfolded position; and processing circuitry that automatically turns on the flexible display when the flexible display moves from the folded position to the unfolded position, and that automatically turns off the flexible display when the flexible display moves from the unfolded position to the folded position.

Claim #6: The electronic device defined in claim 1 wherein the sensor comprises a proximity sensor.

Claim #7: The electronic device defined in claim 1 wherein the flexible display comprises first and second portions that face each other when the flexible display is in the folded position.

Claim #9: The electronic device defined in claim 8 wherein the housing comprises a fabric.

Claim #11: An electronic device, comprising: a flexible display; a fabric housing member that supports the flexible display; a sensor that detects bending of the flexible display; and processing circuitry that gathers sensor signals from the sensor and that controls operation of the flexible display based on the sensor signals.

Claim #12: The electronic device defined in claim 11 wherein the fabric housing member comprises metal elements.

Claim #13: The electronic device defined in claim 11 wherein the fabric housing member bends with the flexible display.

Claim #14: The electronic device defined in claim 11 wherein the flexible display comprises a touch-sensitive flexible display having an array of capacitive touch sensor electrodes.

Claim #15: The electronic device defined in claim 11 wherein the fabric housing member forms a flexible hinge that allows the flexible display to be folded.

Claim #16: An electronic device, comprising: a fabric-based housing structure; an array of light-emitting diodes mounted to the fabric-based housing structure; a sensor that detects flexing of the fabric-based housing structure; and processing circuitry that gathers sensor signals from the sensor and that controls the array of light-emitting diodes based on the sensor signals.

Also, read: Best Upcoming Smartphones in 2018 (Specs, Price And Release Date)

Claim #17: The electronic device defined in claim 16 wherein the fabric-based housing structure comprises a rigid portion and a flexible portion.

 

Claim #19: The electronic device defined in claim 16 wherein the fabric-based housing structure forms a flexible hinge that allows the array of light-emitting diodes to be folded.

 

Claim #20: The electronic device defined in claim 16 wherein the fabric-based housing structure comprises a layer of fabric on a rigid support structure.

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