iphone folable smartphone

Screengrab via USPTO

Is Apple making a foldable iPhone?

Samsung already confirmed it's building a foldable Galaxy rival.


Phillip Tracy


Published Nov 27, 2017   Updated May 22, 2021, 9:49 am CDT

That iPhone X you just spent $1,000 on—a.k.a., the “future of smartphones”—is already starting to sound outdated.

That’s because, on Monday, Fast Company found a patent recently received by Apple that suggests the company may be working on a foldable iPhone. The abstract, which was filed on Sept. 22, 2016, describes an electric device that “may have a flexible portion that allows the device to be folded.”

If this sounds familiar, it’s because numerous smartphone makers including Samsung and LG already started the race to be the first to introduce a foldable smartphone. Dongjin Koh, president of mobile business at Samsung, told reporters in September that while there are still hurdles to overcome, a foldable Galaxy phone (that some have dubbed the Galaxy X) could be released in 2018.

If the patent is anything to go by, Apple’s version would come with a flexible screen that uses clear adhesive to bend at an axis. Interestingly, the patent lists several different product categories, including smartwatches, phones, laptops, and tablets, that might use the flexible display. While the development of a foldable phone has mostly been the subject of folklore, Lenovo—yes, the company best known for making laptops—gave us our first look at a fully functioning foldable smartphone in July.

It’s important to note that just because Apple filed a patent for a foldable smartphone doesn’t necessarily mean it will be the company’s “one last thing” reveal anytime soon. Still, for those of you who passed on the iPhone X this year, it doesn’t hurt to dream.

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*First Published: Nov 27, 2017, 5:16 pm CST