Apple allowed patent for flexible electronic devices

A schematic illustration of Apple's latest patent for flexible electronics in mobile devices

The American consumer electronics giant Apple has been granted a patent for foldable and flexible mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones. The new technology is reported to protect the devices from damages caused by dropping and offers new input options. For example, certain video games could be controlled by bending or folding the device, claim the developers. In more general terms, bending could be used to switch the hardware on or off.

According to the Californian company, the devices are constructed in several layers. Circuit boards, displays and batteries are supposed to adapt to this principle entirely or at least partially. Apple names several materials that could be used for this purpose: Besides plastics, flat glass, tissues and silicones, carbon is another potential candidate.

If Apple will ever bring flexible iPhones or iPads to the market, remains to be seen. Like many other companies, it regularly patents inventions that might never make it into mass production.

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