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We may see a bendy iPhone from Apple in the near future.
The company has filed a US patent application for a device with “a flexible portion that allows the device to be folded.”
We first saw the filing via The Next Web.
The drawings that accompany the patent application don’t tell us much, and later in the filing the authors write that the device might be a phone, laptop, tablet, watch, or some other kind of portable gadget.
Another note suggests the foldable bits of the device can bend two ways, so you can open it like a book or prop it up on half of the screen.
It’s worth caveating that this is a patent application, so Apple may never be granted the patent, and it may never create any bendy device at all.
But foldable displays and devices have been on the horizon for a long time. Lenovo has already showcased several folding devices, like the Folio, over the past year. Xiaomi similarly showcased a bendable touchscreen last year. Microsoft was granted a patent for a tablet device that folded up to become a phone in January. Samsung is reportedly working on a folding phone called the Galaxy X, a rumor that has long been in the works. And rumors in October suggested Apple was working with LG on a folding iPhone.
It isn’t clear whether there’s consumer demand for bendy phones, but it would mark a major design shift at a point when modern smartphones have become homogeneous. And anything that might help prevent a smashed screen will probably go down well with consumers.