Publication of a patent filing from Apple suggests the company could be working on a ‘expandable’ phone design with a rollable screen.
The patent indicates the design could involve a screen that bends inside the device itself, around a roller.
The patent, filed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is mentioned as “Electronic Devices Having Sliding Expandable Displays.” The patent, as reported in The Indian Express as well as BGR, also mentions that a portion of the flexible display goes inside the phone casing when in the unexpanded state, suggesting that the display may be bent or rolled inside.
“A flexible display may be wrapped around one or more rollers,” says US Patent No 10,602,623.
Apple is not the first brand to go towards rollable screens, “which are expected to be the next biggest step towards future smartphone form factors after foldable screens,” the publication reported. “Samsung received a patent for a phone with a motorised rolling mechanism back in 2019 and another for a patent that lets users expand the size of the display on their devices by up to 50 per cent.”
Wear and Tear
Unlike foldable phones (Apple’s is pictured above), rolling screens do not use a hinge. With the hinge gone, these devices also need not worry about the wear and tear. A hinge-less screen also means a crease-less screen.
Apple is working on a foldable iPhone which won’t launch until 2024, says analyst Ming Chi Kuo, an analyst at TF International Securities, a financial services group in the Asia-Pacific region who gathers intelligence from his contacts in Apple’s Asian supply chain. Apple expects to ship 15-20 million units.
Image source: uspto.gov; newsney.com