Will the iPhone of the future even remotely resemble the iPhone we know today? In a recent Dollars and Sense column, I discussed an exciting new technology that may be introduced in Apple’s iPhone lineup at some point. It would be nothing short of an absolute game-changer, and it could happen sooner than you think.
But there’s a whole lot going on behind closed doors in Cupertino right now, and on Tuesday morning we’ve been given a glimpse of yet another futuristic technology Apple is toying with for possible inclusion in its iPhones of the future.
Apple’s iPhone 12 won’t just charge wirelessly while it’s sitting in your pocket, it’ll also bend and twist while you use it.
OK, so neither of those features are sure things, but a new patent application discovered by Patently Apple on Tuesday morning shows that Apple is working on some pretty crazy flexible device technology in its R&D labs.
At the Consumer Electronics Show back in January, LG Display showed off a large screen that wasn’t just flexible, it was rollable. Technology like this could potentially lead to all sorts of new form factors for devices, but Apple may be planning to take things a step further. By combining flexible OLED displays with flexible device housings and bendable internal components, Apple is toying with the idea of an iPhone that actually changes shape as you use it.
Also noted in the patent application are the presence of flex sensors that would register movements and trigger software responses based on those movements. A flexible device wouldn’t solely be about interactions, however — it would also potentially be far more durable and less prone to damage when dropped.