Apple’s new patent application claims that the company can work on ‘expandable’ phone designs with scrolling screens. The patented design states that it includes a screen that wraps around a roller and bends inside the device.
Originally discovered by PGR, Patent filed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), “Electronic devices with expanding displays.” As mentioned. The display can be curved or rolled inside.
Apple is not the first brand to move towards rolling screens, which is expected to be the next big step for future smartphone shape factors after folding screens. Samsung patented one phone in 2019 with a motor-mounted rolling mechanism, the other allowing users to expand the display size on their devices by up to 50 percent for a patent.
Xiaomi has held a similar patent in the past and the Oppo X2021 is an actual phone that already has a screen that can be expanded by a motor-mounted mechanism when the user needs it.
Why do brands float towards rolling screens?
One of the biggest problems with the most complex shapes of smartphone screens you see today is that they use hinges. The most important part is the Achilles heel in these products as it is featured prominently in the first generation Samsung Galaxy fold. The hinge acts as the perfect opening for small dust particles to get inside and compromise the mechanism over time.
However, unlike foldable phones, rolling screens do not use a key. Since the hinge is gone, these devices do not need to worry about the wear and tear associated with it. As a bonus, the hinge-less screen is a screen without folds.
However, the company is currently working on its foldable iPhone, which will not launch until 2024, said analyst Ming Chi Guo.
The foldable iPhone will be a product of the future, and this particular patent may be used on much later devices. Apple could never build a phone with such a design, which is something that happens with a lot of patents.