Apple has been granted a patent for a foldable device with a hinge mechanism that features flaps designed to prevent a foldable display from featuring a crease.
The patent, approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, outlines how the hinge mechanism can separate the top and bottom portions of the display in a way that leaves a gap between the screens. When unfolded, flaps extend to cover this gap and then retract when the device is folded back up.
On paper, this seems like a simple yet feasible solution to the crease issue plaguing early foldable smartphones. For example, both Samsung’s Galaxy Fold and Huawei’s Mate X feature noticable creases where the display bends.
On the other hand, Motorola’s new foldable Razr avoids the unsightly crease but instead features a noticable clicking noise that is believed to be caused by its hinge.
As always, just because a company has patented a product, it doesn’t mean that it will ever actually be released. It’s also important to keep in mind that Apple is historically slow to market when it comes to new, experimental technology.
This means that if Apple is indeed working on a foldable tablet or smartphone that features the unique hinge outlined in this patent, it will likely be years before it’s released.
Image credit: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Source: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Via: MacRumors