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An Apple patent reveals the foldable iPhone and its touch sensors

The use of flexible OLED panels allows us to have mobile phones that we can practically convert into tablets by opening them. We have already seen for a few years the existence of folding mobiles such as the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 or flexible laptops where the keyboard has been replaced to offer a large screen, such as the ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold OLED. The main advantage of these folding devices is clear and is to have a larger screen in a smaller size. This has caught the attention of Manzana for many years and the latest foldable iPhone update would show us the existence of a mobile surrounded by touch sensors.

Almost 5 years ago the rumors began about a possible folding iPhone. Let’s go to 2018 when the analysts already indicated that in 2020 it was possible that Apple would launch a foldable iPhone. Despite frequent rumors, forecasts and interest from the Cupertino company, in the end none of this came true. Years passed and in the middle of 2021 new news arrived that it really it would be in 2023 when it would arrive. Now that we are at these dates, we can say that there has been no official information from Apple about a launch of an iPhone with these characteristics. However, the proliferation of a new patent could indicate that we are close to a possible launch.

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Apple publishes illustrations of a possible foldable touch iPhone

iPhone Foldable DesEsports Extras1

It had been a while since we had any news about Apple and its foldable iPhone, an idea that seemed like it would never come. However, this week the USPTO has granted Apple several patents, where one of these especially calls our attention. It turns out that we have illustrations made by Apple designers of what appears to be a foldable iPhone. In this case, what is most striking is that it is full of touch sensors throughout the device. This makes sense on smartphones, since the user can interact with notifications without having to open the mobile.

“It can be difficult to collect touch information from a user and display images efficiently. For example, when a user enters touch data on a touch screen, the user’s hand can block the images displayed on the screen,” the request explains.

This touch desEsports Extrascan be used on non-folding devices

iPhone Foldable DesEsports Extras2

In addition to seeing the utility of the fact that the user will not have to open the phone to interact with it, Apple believes that touch sensors are more versatile than physical buttons. A clear example is being able to make this foldable touch iPhone adapt to the user or the state of the Apple device. For example, if it is folded, the rear screen can be used to answer or reject calls. In turn, if we deploy it, the utility of these tactile sensors could change or even be disabled to prevent accidental keystrokes. On the other hand, if traditional physical buttons are used, we are limited to their function without any type of change depending on how we have the mobile.

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This patent could reach a future foldable iPhone, although Apple ensures that this touch technology can be applied to other non-folding devices. Basically, it proposes the option of using this tactile membrane to wrap a standard iPhone. In fact, a while ago they mentioned that the iPhone 15 Pro would abandon the physical buttons and they would replace them with haptic touch buttons. Interestingly, the company also mentions the usefulness of such touch controls in gameswhere here we must say that it does not seem like a great idea from an ergonomic point of view.

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