Apple’s folding iPhone can automatically close to protect itself from fumbling fingers
Development of the foldable iPhone is apparently continuing, as a recently discovered patent application suggests that Apple is looking for a way to better protect its devices from drops.
available at USPTO website (opens in a new tab), the application is called Self-Retracting Display Devices and Technology Using Drop Detection to Protect Screens. Pretty lengthy, but it does succinctly describe how Apple keeps screen damage to a minimum. As described, the device will have some sort of sensor inside, such as an accelerometer. If it detects that the iPhone is being dropped, the sensor will signal an “electronically adjustable locking mechanism” to quickly close the phone.
The app does suggest that if the iPhone is held so close to the ground that it is partially open, the mechanism may not close completely.But that’s fine, according to the patent, “even with the display folded to fewer angles [than] 180 degrees can be [still] Provide some protection”. At least, the impact will be on the side rather than directly on the screen.
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Another angle Apple has focused on in the app is the hinge. A foldable iPhone could consist of two separate screens that connect to each other when the device is unfolded, rather than having a normal hinge in the middle. So when the phone is closed, the top screen detaches from the bottom, which should help with protection. It’s hard to say for sure, since the document doesn’t describe how things will work. Instead, the app explains how things work on the phone.
Much of the patent filing talks about the capabilities of a foldable iPhone. For example, sensors behind fall arrest gear might include “accelerometers, gyroscopes, compasses, and/or other components” to detect motion. However, Apple did not directly point to any specific technology. Most importantly for the company, the internal mechanism is able to detect when the rate of decline “exceeds a predetermined threshold” so that it can be automatically shut down. Whether the device can actually register a fall fast enough to shut down completely remains to be seen.
Rumors of a foldable iPhone It’s been circulating the internet for about three years now. In that time, other patents have leaked, and we’ve seen real-time changes to device concepts. One design “has two hinges for hypothetical three displays,” allowing the phone to fold into a Z shape. And another prototype experimented with e-paper displays. But don’t hold your breath for the upcoming “iPhone Fold.”this Latest leak points to 2025 version So you have plenty of time to save up for what could be a very expensive smartphone.
If you want something right now, check out TechRadar’s list The best foldable phones of 2023.