Apple has been granted 54 new patents today by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, one of which contains details of a flexible display for a possible future iPhone.

The patent, titled "Flexible Electronic Devices", covers products that would include flexible housings and internal components, including a flexible version of an Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) display, reports Patently Apple.

apple-flexible-oled-patent
The patent also describes the use of flex-sensing components that register deformations of the device and could be used as a form of user input. Bending the device could change its operating mode, for instance. Other possibilities given include assigning deformations to game control systems and using flex sensors to power a device on/off.

Flexible devices are also cited as more resistant to damage due to enhanced shock absorption on impact. Apple notes that the technology in the patent could be used in future versions of its iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and other wearable devices.

Apple Flexible OLED patent
Multiple reports claim Apple will launch iPhones with OLED displays in 2018. Samsung is reportedly close to reaching a deal with Apple to supply flexible OLED displays for future iPhones and is said to be investing up to $7.47 billion in OLED manufacturing equipment to fulfill orders.

In addition to Samsung Display, the OLED panel orders may be spread out over a number of suppliers, possibly including AU Optronics, LG and Japan Display. All three display makers have supplied Apple with LCD panels for existing iPhones.

Apple is reportedly operating a Taiwanese factory where a team of engineers are developing thinner, lighter and brighter displays for future Apple devices. The secretive lab may be specifically focused on flexible OLED and Micro-LED display technologies for use in future-generation iPhones.

Top Rated Comments

thatanonymoususer Avatar
104 months ago
I thought they already did this with the iPhone 6 Plus.:p /s
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sevanw Avatar
104 months ago
Always 10 steps behind Samsung, but always the first to sue. Hence all the unwarranted patents. Patents only for "design" as Apple actually invent no core technologies that makes so many designs possible. Pathetic.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jayducharme Avatar
104 months ago
I get the impression that the patent office is handing out patents like candy. The issue is no longer about patenting a concept; if you have a good patent attorney and the money, it's apparently a fairly straightforward process. The issue is protecting your concept with that patent since, as Apple has found out, a patent alone doesn't guarantee protection.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Oblivious.Robot Avatar
104 months ago
This would be great for the Apple Watch to be honest.
But I highly doubt it'd come any sooner..

Edit - Remeber the iWatch concept renderings?



Attachment Image

Attachment Image

Attachment Image

Attachment Image

Attachment Image
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Carvensno Avatar
104 months ago
Back in the day you actually had to have a physical item to claim a patent. Nowadays it just seems like you can scribble something on a napkin and claim/file a patent for it. Smh!!
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
anubis72 Avatar
104 months ago
I'd settle for a phone that bounces instead of shatters when you drop it...
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Monday February 19, 2024 6:52 am PST by
Apple last month confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU and Apple Podcasts transcripts. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay later this year. More details about the new...
apple wallet drivers license feature

Apple Said iPhone Driver's Licenses Will Expand to These 8 U.S. States

Monday February 12, 2024 7:51 am PST by
In 2021, Apple introduced a feature that lets residents of participating U.S. states add their driver's license or ID to the Wallet app on the iPhone and Apple Watch, providing a convenient and contactless way to display proof of identity or age. Unfortunately, states have been slow to adopt the feature since it was first announced in September 2021, with IDs in the Wallet app only available ...
samsung galaxy ring

'Apple Ring' Allegedly in Development to Rival Samsung Galaxy Ring

Tuesday February 20, 2024 2:27 am PST by
Apple is speeding up development of a smart ring that can be worn on the finger to track users' health biometrics, claims a new report coming out of Korea. Teaser image of Samsung Galaxy Ring shown at Galaxy Unpacked in January Apple has toyed with the idea of a ring wearable for several years, as indicated by several patents, but with Samsung preparing to bring its own product to market, the ...
New Macs iPads iOS 17 4

New Macs and iPads Coming Soon: What to Expect

Saturday February 17, 2024 3:00 am PST by
Following the launch of Apple's Vision Pro headset, attention has shifted towards what is next on the company's agenda this year. As usual, March should be eventful for Apple, as it is expected to release new MacBook Air, iPad Pro, and iPad Air models during the month. In a recent press release, Apple also confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March. Below, we recap what to expect...
Apple Watch Series 9

5 Major New Features Rumored for This Year's Apple Watch

Sunday February 18, 2024 3:00 am PST by
Thinking about upgrading your Apple Watch or buying one for the first time? If your current smartwatch is doing its job just fine and it's only the idea of a good deal that's piqued your interest, it could be worth holding out until later this year when Apple unveils its next-generation version. Here's why. There are already several rumors from reputable sources that suggest 2024 could be a...
m3 macbook pro 14 16

Apple Now Selling Refurbished M3 Pro and M3 Max MacBook Pro Models

Monday February 19, 2024 5:04 pm PST by
Apple today began offering refurbished versions of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with M3 Pro and M3 Max chip options, offering the machines at a discount for the first time since their October 2023 release. The release of M3 Pro and M3 Max models on Apple's refurbished store comes almost two weeks after the entry-level 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro first appeared on the store....