Foldable iPhones Could Have Self-Heating Displays to Avoid Damage in Cold Weather

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 28, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    The foldable smartphone era is in full swing with the recent introductions of the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X, and while it remains unclear if Apple will follow suit, the company has at least explored ideas related to foldable smartphones in patent applications over the past few years.

    Huawei Mate X

    In a patent application published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today, titled "Electronic Devices With Flexible Displays," Apple explains that foldable smartphone displays could be prone to damage when bent in cold temperatures, and describes various heating methods to mitigate the issue.

    For example, Apple says the portion of the display that bends could be heated by lighting up the pixels in that area of the screen. Alternatively, a "heating element or other heating structure" could be used, although Apple wasn't specific.

    Apple's illustration of a folding device, along with an expanded view showing the bendable area of the display being heated

    The patent application, highlighted by AppleInsider, notes that the foldable smartphone could have a magnetic latching mechanism that would prevent the device from being folded or unfolded in very cold temperatures to avoid damage to the display. This would be in environments "significantly below room temperature."

    Apple files numerous patent applications every week, of course, and many of the inventions do not see the light of day. Patents are also very detailed, encompassing many possible ideas, even ones that Apple might not have any plans to advance. So, the exact implementation if any remains to be seen.

    While unique, early foldable smartphones from Samsung and Huawei are far from perfect, with bulky designs and expensive price tags. Apple is unlikely to release a foldable iPhone unless it can meet the company's strict quality standards.

    Last year, Bank of America analyst Wamsi Mohan predicted that Apple is working on a foldable iPhone for release in 2020, while an earlier Korean report said Apple was developing a foldable iPhone alongside LG. However, it's still not entirely clear if Apple will ever proceed with those plans.

    Article Link: Foldable iPhones Could Have Self-Heating Displays to Avoid Damage in Cold Weather
  2. bluush macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2007
  3. G5isAlive macrumors 6502a

    Aug 28, 2003
    This is the kind of attention to detail that I doubt you will find in the Galaxy Fold. But yet, people will still say Apple doesn't do enough.
  4. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands
    It seems Apple *has* to make a foldable iPhone to be able to "keep up" with the competition.

    Making it will also create the idea that Apple is copying, not innovating.

    Sure, Apple wil make a better foldable iPhone (what shall we call it... FiPhone? iPhone F? iPhone FSX Max?) than the current offerings.. but still...
  5. frifra macrumors 6502a


    Nov 29, 2008
    There is probably already a patent out there covering this. Description:

    Some device which can be moved in some way and to prevent changes or damage from happening a technology is used to do so. :D:rolleyes:
  6. mcfrazieriv macrumors 6502a


    Jan 30, 2012
    Irvine, CA
    My brick iPhone has a built in heater. It's called a battery. When I use it more, the phone gets warmer. When it sits in sunlight, it shuts off because its too hot. Why the hell do I need it to fold? And why does it need more heat?
  7. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    Think about it, how many will travel with a device where it folds, The temperature may be colder depending on someone’s commute or if they’re outside , and by bending the device back-and-forth, could cause damage to the internal components. To me, this would be something that would have to be considered in different environments that a folding display would be subjected to, and this seems like a very Apple-like move.
  8. DNichter, Feb 28, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2019

    DNichter macrumors G3


    Apr 27, 2015
    Philadelphia, PA
    Good to see Apple looking for solutions to issues with foldable screens prior to releasing. Samsung and Huawei should have done the same with their creased screen issue.
  9. testcard macrumors 68040


    Apr 13, 2009
    Northumbria, UK
    Heating element. In a smartphone. What could possibly go wrong?
  10. Wildkraut macrumors 6502a


    Nov 8, 2015
    Like these glow sticks you have to break/fold to light it up.
  11. Gorms macrumors 6502


    Aug 30, 2012
    Could you do this passively? By running a wire off whatever heatsink the AX's chip have that led to the fold area and get this heating passively through that? The A11 in the X warms up enough under heavy load, maybe that'd be the trick, plus it'd be kinda free.
  12. iapplelove macrumors 601


    Nov 22, 2011
    East Coast USA
    Purely speculation saying it won’t be found by other tech companies.

    Lately Apple isn’t doing any more than anyone else.

    They been lazy for a while now. Playin it safe.
  13. McG2k1 macrumors regular


    Jun 22, 2011
    Simply stunning and innovative too.
  14. lostczech macrumors member


    Sep 8, 2009
    iFold ;)
  15. gaspitsjesse macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2013
  16. happyslayer macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2008
    Glendale, AZ
    I will need to see one and hold/fold it and all that but I’m really not seeing the benefit of this yet. The current models shown by Samsung and Huawei just look too thick to use folded, and too big to use doing “normal” phone things unless I’m sitting on the couch or in a coffee shop (where I use my iPad.)

    However, I’m a tech junky (especially Apple tech) so I’d still probably get an Apple folding iPhone.
  17. Tarantularock macrumors member


    Mar 21, 2016
    While I appreciate the novelty of a folding screen, I'm still having doubts that there is that much demand for a product like this.
  18. mattster16 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2004
    Something I never thought about, but it is total common sense. Nearly all materials become more brittle in the cold. Being from Minnesota this could be a huge issue. Leave it to Apple to think of something like this. I highly doubt Samsung or Huawei have addressed this.

    Sure makes all the people who were insisting Apple is behind the times and falling behind after the Samsung and Huawei releases sound dumb. If you thought Apple wasn't already developing and testing folding screens this patent filing sure proves that wrong.
  19. gaspitsjesse macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2013
    I sincerely hope that folding phones (pholds) do not become the norm and stay explicitly niche.
  20. TroyJam macrumors member


    Jan 29, 2008
    Am I the only person wondering why we need foldable iPhones?
  21. BvizioN macrumors 601


    Mar 16, 2012
    Manchester, UK
    Apple does not give a **** about being first, and make no mistake, they are experimenting with this sort of stuff on their secret labs.
    Apple will only jump on this bandwagon if it sees there is a demand. Just look how long it took Apple to increase the display size on their iPhones or have an OLED display.
    Apple will wait patiently, learn from others mistake, work to improve and then strike.
  22. mattster16 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2004
    and then $$$$.
  23. M.PaulCezanne macrumors 6502a


    Mar 5, 2014
    Thought the headline said self- “healing”.

    Much less impressed on second read.
  24. davidwes macrumors 6502

    Dec 28, 2004
    Why? Who doesn't want more screen size in a form factor that can easily fit into your pocket?

    Of course, no one wants what's currently coming out: 2k+ phones that are thicker than the iPhone, but someone had to be the first and it was never going to be apple.

    If Apple could make a foldable phone that costs less then the combined cost of my iPad and my iPhone I would totally buy it. I don't see why that would be a niche?
  25. mattster16 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2004
    I read the same thing in the headline. This is less and impressive technically, but still an impressive attention to detail.

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