A new Apple patent has been approved by the US Patent & Trademark Office which details the working of a foldable display. Reported by Patently Apple, it describes a device with a flexible portion which allows it to be folded. The flexible portion may be a display which has a bendable region which allows it to “bend along a bend axis” when the device is folded, like a book.
The patent lists micro-LED as one of the main display types for the foldable display and also lists liquid metal being used for structuring the display. Apple’s research notes, "The material that forms layer 14 - 1 may be a shape memory alloy (e.g., nickel titanium) or a bulk metal glass (sometimes referred to as amorphous metal)."
The new patent follows a previous report which tipped that Apple has partnered with LG for manufacturing its foldable OLED displays for the upcoming iPhone. As per the report, LG’s Display division has assigned a dedicated team for developing foldable screens for Apple. LG Innotek, LG’s sister firm has also tasked a team which is supervising the production of Rigid Flexible Printed Circuit Boards (RFPCB) for the foldable smartphone. Apple has also been reported of switching over from Samsung to LG as its OLED display supplier over concerns of its secrets being leaked.
A previous patent by the Cupertino based company stated details for a foldable display. It could be guessed by the patent’s abstract that it’s about a “flexible display” that allows a device to be folded. SImilar to the new patent, the previous filing described that Apple could use both OLED and micro-LED screens for building flexible displays for its products. The foldable display technology could also be used in different devices such as future iPads, MacBooks or Apple Watches.