The rumors of a folding iPhone have been floating for quite a long time now. We have seen various patents that suggest the Cupertino tech giant has been working on such a device to launch in the coming years. Now, a recent patent suggests that Apple might implement an advanced hinge based on gears on its upcoming foldable device.
The patent, “Folding Electronic Devices With Geared Hinges”, was recently filed by the iPhone-makers. This particular patent explains the use of advanced gears for the hinges of a foldable device. As per the description, this mechanism will allow a user to fold the display all the way to the back, making the foldable iPhone pretty similar to Microsoft’s Surface Duo, on paper.
How Will It Work?
The patent notes that the “first and second portions of an electronic device housing for the [foldable] device may be joined using a hinge”. It further explains that the hinge might contain “toothed members such as gears and a rack member” to fold a flexible display in both directions. Apple could certainly go overboard with it.
“The rack member may have a surface with curved portions. The gears may include rotating gears that walk along the curved portions of the rack member as the electronic device is folded and unfolded. The hinge may include gears that are fixedly attached to the first and second housing portions and that engage the rotating gears. Linkage members may hold together gears and the rack member,” reads the patent.
In simple words, this geared-hinge mechanism will let users fold the upcoming Apple device both inwards and outwards. So, they can open it up like a book for a big-screen experience, or fold it outwards all the way to the back to get a compact dual-screen device in their hands.
Moreover, the patent points out that this mechanism will work with any kind of display. “The display may be an organic light-emitting diode display, a micro-light-emitting diode display formed from an array of crystalline semiconductor light-emitting diode dies, and/or maybe any other suitable display,” further adds the patent.