Future iPhones could be rollable, according to a new Apple patent that shows a smartphone that opens and closes like a fruit roll-up

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Future iPhones could be rollable, according to a new Apple patent that shows a smartphone that opens and closes like a fruit roll-up



Future iPhones could be rollable, according to a new Apple patent that shows a smartphone that opens and closes like a fruit roll-up

Apple is yet to launch a foldable smartphone like its rivals Samsung and Motorola, but the tech giant could be working on a rollable iPhone which would be the first of its kind.

A new patent describes a device that looks like a fruit roll-up with a thin screen that bends around an axis when stored away.

The roll-up iPhone display will have a protective layer of glass to protect it from scratches and other damage while rolling and unrolling.

The document suggested adding coatings to the outer layer, such as anti-fog, anti-fog, anti-reflection and anti-static layers.

Apple is set to launch its iPhone 15 in September, so if the company releases a rollable smartphone, it won’t be until 2024 — at the earliest.

Apple is yet to launch a foldable smartphone like its rivals Samsung and Motorola, but the tech giant could be working on a rollable iPhone which would be the first of its kind. This photo was created by AI photo maker Midjourney

However, Apple has been awarded countless patents that never materialize into real-world technology.

Regardless, the tech giants are an exciting window into what the future might hold.

‘An electronic device may have a rollable display. The display can be moved between an unrolled state where the display is planar and a rolled state where a rollable portion of the display is rolled up for storage,’ the patent reads.

It describes a display consisting of a pixel array to determine the form and color of digital images displayed on the screen.

The display will be bent around an axis as it rolls onto a roller for storage.

Apple recommends designing the interior of the smartphone with several layers to protect it from damage caused by rolling up and out.

The first layer can be made of a coating, followed by another made of polyamide, a type of plastic used in everything from aircraft components to sporting goods and adhesives.

And the outer layer will be the thinnest and made of a polymer popular in plastic bags, clothing and Teflon-coated cookware.

The display will be bent around an axis as it rolls onto a roller for storage.

Polymers are tough and provide thermal and electrical insulation.

‘In such an arrangement, the layer can help prevent relatively deep scratches on the outer surface of the glass layer, while the layer, which can be formed from a tougher polymer than the layer, can help protect the surface of the layer from scratches. May produce fog or other visible changes in the layer,’ the patent reads.

This isn’t Apple’s first patent describing a rollable iPhone — the tech giant published another in 2020.

The document describes a flexible display that ‘wraps around one or more rollers’, allowing the screen to be pulled out of a ‘housing’ and retracted when not in use.

The patent, titled ‘Electronic device with flexible display structure’, was filed in December 2017 and published on March 24, 2020, as first reported by AppleInsider.

This isn’t Apple’s first patent describing a rollable iPhone — the tech giant published another in 2020 (pictured)

‘A device may include rollers that store a flexible display and allow additional display area to be deployed from a housing when desired,’ the patent states.

‘A touch screen in a housing may be overlapped by a flexible display that is scrolled outward from the housing.’

Apple’s new design is fitted with a wireless transmitter and receiver circuitry that displays images on the screen in a pixel array format.

Magnets are also used on both sides of the housing to ‘help prevent a rolled flexible display from wrinkling.’

However, Apple’s 2020 patent shows that the design won’t be limited to iPhones — as rollable iPads are also discussed in the document.

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