Apple May Be Developing a Foldable iPhone With a ‘Self-Healing’ Screen

Flip phones are making a comeback, and Apple could be jumping on the bandwagon.

The tech company was recently awarded a patent for its own version of a foldable electronic device, Gizmodo reported. Of course, because Apple likes to up the ante, the potential new iPhone would be equipped with a high-tech hinge and what’s being dubbed a “self-healing display.”

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According to the patent, the self-repairing coating would be used “to help mitigate the number of dents, scratches, or other imperfections”—a common problem among foldable devices. Even cooler, it “may fill the dent even without external intervention.” So, picture something akin to your favorite self-healing superhero. However, in certain cases, repairs can be “initiated or expedited” by applying a heat source like lights or electrical currents, according to the brand.

While a foldable iPhone would be a first for Apple, other mobile makers have already dabbled with self-repairing materials. When LG rolled out its curved smartphone in 2013, the G Flex, the device had a special coating on the back cover. At the time, the phone, the brand claimed, was supposed to repair its own scratches à la Wolverine.

In terms of competitors, Apple would potentially face off against the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 and Galaxy Z Fold5 if a foldable iPhone were to hit the market. In addition, Motorola reintroduced the Razr in 2023, a flippable smartphone that originally debuted in 2004. There’s also the Pixel Fold, Google’s first-ever foldable Android smartphone.

It was also reported earlier this year that two foldable iPhone prototypes were in the works, and maybe even a foldable iPad. The clamshell-esque devices would bend lengthwise and unfurl at a 90-degree angle.

The biggest concern with foldable phones or tablets, however, is durability. These devices are way more fragile and tend to break easily. The glass displays are super thin and delicate, even with a screen protector. The hinges can be creaky when the phone is opened or closed. Plus, the frames are easily scuffed.

While there’s no confirmed timeline for a potential release of a foldable iPhone, some reports have suggested that one could allegedly arrive by 2026. There’s also speculation that a foldable MacBook could come first. The large-screen device would have an impressive 20-inch display and could begin production as soon as late 2025—allegedly. Stay tuned.

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