Apple Wins Folding Phone Patent

It will still be several years before we see the device on the market.

Apple Inc. has won a patent for a ‘foldable cover and display for an electronic device,’ suggesting the tech giant will, at some point, launch and introduce a folding smartphone. 

Here are some of the details from the USTPO: 

USPTO

Folding devices made their tentative debut at conferences and trade shows this year. First, with Huawei and then, with Samsung. But, this next generation of smartphoneshas not fully hit the market. 

Apple Wins Folding Phone Patent
Source: United States Trademark and Patent Office

Experts believe Apple wouldn’t be able to bring a similar phone to market before the end of 2020.

Apple Wins Folding Phone Patent
Source: United States Trademark and Patent Office

 

Apple has been steadily collecting patents for various foldable technologies such as a folding battery in March last year; as well as, a magnetic latch that would keep a folded device closed without a physical mechanism.

Apple Wins Folding Phone Patent
Source: United States Trademark and Patent Office

It's clear that the world is moving towards a future of folding devices. Many device makers are moving in that direction.

Apple Wins Folding Phone Patent
Source: United States Trademark and Patent Office

Fold up or fold

So far, the list of big and small producing folding phones includes the Samsung Galaxy Fold, the Huawei Mate X, the Motorola Razr, the Xiaomi Mi Fold, the Oppo foldable, the ZTE foldable, the LG Foldable, and even a rumored Sony Xperia F.

Phones and small tablet devices are expected to play a bigger role in people's consumption of media and gaming as streaming high quality games and content increases.

Folding phones can possibly improve on that experience; but even if does not, companies are likely to want to have a device in the mix, simply to compete.

Sales of Apple phones has been in decline over the last 12 months. This huge dip in sales is affecting the company's overall revenue. Apple shipments fell a devastating 23.2% year-over-year to 40.2 million units during the March quarter according to Canalys.

Sales are likely to continue to fall as cheaper handsets with comparable specifications flood the market.

Apple in trouble

Though 5G compatible devices and foldable phones could be the way for the company to re-establish themselves in the saturated market.

Apple stock has fallen ~15% in May a likely response to investors concerns about the US-China trade war. Goldman Sachs has warned investors that Apple stocks could fall even lower if China blacklists the iPhone maker.

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Apple has been struck hard by the ongoing trade war. If tensions continue to escalate there is the possibility that China will boycott the Californian based company pushing consumers towards locally made phones like Huawei.

Support for Huawei would also send a strong message to the U.S about its treatment of the company.

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