The bending iPhone 6 Plus was not a flaw it is a feature. And Apple just patented it. The tech giant from Cupertino filled a patent in which it describes an electronic device that is fully flexible. We are not talking about curved screen in a fixed case. Every part of the smartphone will be flexible. The new handset can fold, bend or twist without damaging the internal components.
You can have a truly bending iPhone without ruing the device. In the past year Apple patented few concepts about flexible screens and components, but never truly reveal a whole concept for a folding or bending handset.
The bending iPhone composition
Unlike the other concepts about flexible phones which relies mainly on a curved screens, the new Apple patent describes a handset made by soft parts like the body and the cover display glass. But the flexibility of the components will cover also the internal hardware. All inner parts will be pliable – batteries, circuit boards and etc.
The chassis will not be made by aluminum as the current iPhone 6’s. Instead Apple suggests that the best way to achieve flexible unibody will be molded from plastic, thin glass, fiber composites or combination of materials capable of withstanding constant pressure.
More soft materials like plastic and silicone will be used to shield the internal parts.
The big potential
Apple’s patent for a bending iPhone opens a lot of hidden potentials. Like folding the device into a bracelet and transforming it into a smartwatch. Also the flexibility makes the handset more resistant from scratches and damages from falls. A bending iPhone actually can explain an early Apple’s patent for a spinning smartphone. It suggested that motors and sensors will flip the phone in mid-air to avoid falling on screen and preventing it from cracking. The flexibility could (on theory) make this concept possible.
The bending iPhone also may open new ways to interact with the device. Now we are using the gyroscopes to play games leaning the handsets. But imagine if you can open the apps only by cracking the smartphone. Twisting the device also can may be use as scrolling.
Don’t get too excited though. Apple loves to patent things that are possible only on paper, but usually it doesn’t have the technology ready for them yet. So the chances to see soon a bending iPhone for now are slim.
Unlike other situations the whole concept is a little Deja Vu for the tech industry. In 2007 Nokia showed its concept Morph. The concept smartphone could bend, twist and fold. It was like Apple’s patent, only words and images and no working device. It was just a good looking CGI. But couple of years later Nokia presented a real flexible smartphone (pictured above). It was only a prototype and the there is no further information afterwards what happened to the development of the device.
But Nokia’s prototype resembles a lot of Apple’s patent. So if we see a bending iPhone we may trace the roots to this interesting device shown in 2011. Nevertheless the Nokia’s handset proves that the technology for such device is almost ready, we are too far from seeing a bending iPhone. At least not in a short or mid term.
Plausibility to see bending iPhone in the next two years – 15%
Image Credit: Nokia