Apple’s latest patent talks about protecting foldables from accidental drops


  • The patent discusses a motorised mechanism to roll back the display
  • Apple’s first foldable is expected to be a tablet, rumoured to arrive next year
  • There have also been reports of a foldable iPhone being in the works

Talk about Apple launching foldables isn’t new, with numerous reports detailing the company’s plans for the popular smartphone segment. A new patent filing now offers more insight into Apple’s plans. Bearing the title “Self-Retracting Display Device And Techniques For Protecting Screen Using Drop Detection,” this technology pertains to foldables that would be capable of closing on their own as they’re about to hit the ground.

Durability is one of the primary concerns of foldables, and this patent addresses that aspect. There’s also mention of a motor potentially pulling the screen back when the onboard sensors detect a drop.

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To be clear, there’s no evidence yet to prove that Apple is working on a foldable bearing this technology, but patents such as this are generally good indicators of future technologies, so we’re hoping to learn more about it in the near future.

The patent filing was dug up by Patently Apple, with an excerpt reading, “If the sensor detects that the mobile device has been dropped… the foldable device can retract at least partially to afford protection from the fragile display from striking the ground.”

In customary fashion, this patent filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) also comes with diagrams that explain its functionality better. One interesting tidbit from this new Apple patent filing is the mention of rollable displays in addition to conventional folding screens. Moreover, this patent discusses foldable and rollable displays for phones and large-screen devices, such as the iPad.

Foldable iPad likely coming in 2024

As per renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple’s foldable iPad could be coming by 2024, reiterating the notion that the first foldable iPad would belong to the mini segment. But it’s unknown if Apple will stick to the mini moniker or attach new branding, given the inclusion of a game-changing foldable screen.

While foldable phones are commonplace, the same can’t be said about foldable tablets. If Kuo’s predictions are correct, Apple could revolutionise the tablet segment in a big way, yet again.

Source: USPTO

Via: Patently Apple