Foldable iPhones Could Have Self-Heating Displays to Avoid Damage in Cold Weather

The foldable smartphone era is in full swing with the recent introductions of the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X, and while it remains unclear if Apple will follow suit, the company has at least explored ideas related to foldable smartphones in patent applications over the past few years.

huawei mate x

Huawei Mate X

In a patent application published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today, titled "Electronic Devices With Flexible Displays," Apple explains that foldable smartphone displays could be prone to damage when bent in cold temperatures, and describes various heating methods to mitigate the issue.

For example, Apple says the portion of the display that bends could be heated by lighting up the pixels in that area of the screen. Alternatively, a "heating element or other heating structure" could be used, although Apple wasn't specific.

apple foldable smartphone heating patent

Apple's illustration of a folding device, along with an expanded view showing the bendable area of the display being heated

The patent application, highlighted by AppleInsider, notes that the foldable smartphone could have a magnetic latching mechanism that would prevent the device from being folded or unfolded in very cold temperatures to avoid damage to the display. This would be in environments "significantly below room temperature."

Apple files numerous patent applications every week, of course, and many of the inventions do not see the light of day. Patents are also very detailed, encompassing many possible ideas, even ones that Apple might not have any plans to advance. So, the exact implementation if any remains to be seen.

While unique, early foldable smartphones from Samsung and Huawei are far from perfect, with bulky designs and expensive price tags. Apple is unlikely to release a foldable iPhone unless it can meet the company's strict quality standards.

Last year, Bank of America analyst Wamsi Mohan predicted that Apple is working on a foldable iPhone for release in 2020, while an earlier Korean report said Apple was developing a foldable iPhone alongside LG. However, it's still not entirely clear if Apple will ever proceed with those plans.

Popular Stories

iPhone 17 Plus Feature

iPhone 17 Lineup Specs Detail Display Upgrade and New High-End Model

Monday July 22, 2024 4:33 am PDT by
Key details about the overall specifications of the iPhone 17 lineup have been shared by the leaker known as "Ice Universe," clarifying several important aspects of next year's devices. Reports in recent months have converged in agreement that Apple will discontinue the "Plus" iPhone model in 2025 while introducing an all-new iPhone 17 "Slim" model as an even more high-end option sitting...
iPhone SE 4 Vertical Camera Feature

iPhone SE 4 Production Will Reportedly Begin Ramping Up in October

Tuesday July 23, 2024 2:00 pm PDT by
Following nearly two years of rumors about a fourth-generation iPhone SE, The Information today reported that Apple suppliers are finally planning to begin ramping up mass production of the device in October of this year. If accurate, that timeframe would mean that the next iPhone SE would not be announced alongside the iPhone 16 series in September, as expected. Instead, the report...
iPhone 17 Plus Feature Purple

These 5 Features Will Make the iPhone 17 the Biggest Update in Years

Monday July 22, 2024 4:02 pm PDT by
The upcoming iPhone 16 models that we're expecting to see in September are going to be quite similar to the iPhone 15 models, but rumors suggest that Apple is making big changes in 2025. We've been hearing hints of an all-new device in the iPhone lineup, and it may be the most expensive iPhone Apple has offered to date. New 'Slim' Design Rumors have taken to referring to the new iPhone 17...
Apple TV Plus Feature 2 Magenta and Blue

Apple TV+ Curbs Costs After Expensive Projects Fail to Capture Viewers

Monday July 22, 2024 5:11 am PDT by
Apple is scaling back its Hollywood spending after investing over $20 billion in original programming with limited success, Bloomberg reports. This shift comes after the streaming service, which launched in 2019, struggled to capture a significant share of the market, accounting for only 0.2% of TV viewership in the U.S., compared to Netflix's 8%. Despite heavy investment, critical acclaim,...
iPhone SE 4 Thumb 1

iPhone SE 4 Rumored to Launch Early Next Year With OLED Display, 48MP Camera, and More

Monday July 22, 2024 7:22 am PDT by
The fourth-generation iPhone SE will offer a series of major upgrades over the current model, the leaker known as "Ice Universe" claims. The information was listed in a post on Weibo, which also detailed the specifications of the iPhone 17 lineup. As previously rumored, the fourth-generation iPhone SE is expected to feature Face ID and USB-C, marking a major upgrade from current and previous ...
bsod

Microsoft Blames European Commission for Major Worldwide Outage

Monday July 22, 2024 11:55 am PDT by
Last Friday, a major CrowdStrike outage impacted PCs running Microsoft Windows, causing worldwide issues affecting airlines, retailers, banks, hospitals, rail networks, and more. Computers were stuck in continuous recovery loops, rendering them unusable. The failure was caused by an update to the CrowdStrike Falcon antivirus software that auto-installed on Windows 10 PCs, but Mac and Linux...
iPhone 16 Pro Sizes Feature

iPhone 16 Series Is Just Two Months Away: Everything We Know

Monday July 15, 2024 4:44 am PDT by
Apple typically releases its new iPhone series around mid-September, which means we are about two months out from the launch of the iPhone 16. Like the iPhone 15 series, this year's lineup is expected to stick with four models – iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Plus, iPhone 16 Pro, and iPhone 16 Pro Max – although there are plenty of design differences and new features to take into account. To bring ...
iOS 18 on iPhone Feature

Everything New in iOS 18 Beta 4

Tuesday July 23, 2024 1:08 pm PDT by
Apple released the fourth beta of iOS 18 today, introducing small changes to a number of features throughout the operating system. There are no big additions in this beta, but Apple is continuing to refine existing settings and design choices. Apple plans to continue updating iOS 18 over the next few months, with the update set to be released this fall. We've rounded up all of the changes...

Top Rated Comments

bluush Avatar
71 months ago
At the courageous price of $2,499
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TroyJam Avatar
71 months ago
Am I the only person wondering why we need foldable iPhones?
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
G5isAlive Avatar
71 months ago
This is the kind of attention to detail that I doubt you will find in the Galaxy Fold. But yet, people will still say Apple doesn't do enough.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Tarantularock Avatar
71 months ago
While I appreciate the novelty of a folding screen, I'm still having doubts that there is that much demand for a product like this.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
testcard Avatar
71 months ago
Heating element. In a smartphone. What could possibly go wrong?
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gaspitsjesse Avatar
71 months ago
I sincerely hope that folding phones (pholds) do not become the norm and stay explicitly niche.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)