TF International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has such amazing sources inside Apple
that he knows what the soup of the day will be in the Apple cafeteria for the second Tuesday in May. Kuo says that a foldable iPhone won’t surface until 2024. If true, it shows that Apple is well behind Samsung when it comes to this growing category of the smartphone market. By the time the foldable iPhone is putting Apple fans into a frenzy, Samsung will have released the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and the Galaxy Z Flip
Rollable and pullout displays are the next frontiers for smartphone manufacturers
But Apple is reportedly working on another different form factor. Yesterday, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a patent application by Apple called “Electronic Devices Having Sliding Expandable Displays.” Such expandable displays seem to be the next frontier for smartphone manufacturers as companies like Samsung and Xiaomi have received patents for phones with a rollable or pullout displays.
Image from Apple’s patent Electronic Devices Having Sliding Expandable Displays.
Apple’s new patent application includes a cross section of a rollable iPhone. Inside the phone, the screen bends around a roller place inside the device. As Apple notes in the patent application that “A portion of a flexible display may be stored in an interior region of the housing when the housing is in the unexpanded state. In the unexpanded state, the flexible display may have one or more bends and may double back on itself one or more times.”
Unlike a foldable phone, a rollable or pullout handset does not need a hinge
The patent was originally filed last June by Apple. The advantage of using a rollable display compared to a foldable one like the two Samsung models is that with a rollable display there is no visible crease in the middle of the screen where the hinge is. Besides forming the crease on the screen, users of a foldable have to worry about wear on the hinge depending on how often the user opens the device to access the larger tablet-sized display.
With a rollable or pullout screen, the lack of a hinge obviously means that there is no concern about such a part wearing out. However, such devices will have their own components for users to worry about including the roller and the mechanism that feeds out the additional display to make the size of it grow.