Apple patents brand new foldable display tech that looks to fix the ugly crease

Foldable screen patent
(Image credit: Apple)

Anyone who’s used a device with a folding screen will probably tell you two things: One, that the idea of a device that gets bigger is wicked, and two, that the crease just looks and feels weird.

It’s been rumored that Apple is going to release a foldable at some point in the future for a while, and one of the main things that Apple will be looking at is the crease. There’s a new patent that adds evidence to the file now, with Apple looking to glass thinning and chemical treatments to make the crease sturdier and less noticeable.

Apple’s foldable adventure

It’s not long since analyst Ming-Chi Kuo briefly spoke about a new foldable MacBook/iPad hybrid, and we’ve already got a look at what Apple might be doing to make its foldable devices more tolerable to the crease-averse.

According to the patent, Apple is going to thin a part of the glass screen where the fold is going to be. The idea looks to be that the top part of the screen remains flat (so that your finger doesn’t notice the fold while tapping and swiping), and then a treatment of ‘polymer’ underneath the display keeps it sturdy. That polymer will flex and bend with the screen, keeping the shape of the screen, and, Apple reckons, it will keep one of those ugly creases from forming.

It’s a complicated patent, that’s for sure, but one that could show Apple’s seriousness in making foldable devices. Kuo last reported that the earliest we’ll see foldable devices from Apple could be 2027, so we’ve got some time before we see this new tech in action on the likes of a foldable iPad or iPhone. Until then, we just have the iPhone 16 and the next crop of likely un-foldable iPads to look forward to.

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Tammy Rogers
Senior Staff Writer

As iMore's Senior Staff writer, Tammy uses her background in audio and Masters in screenwriting to pen engaging product reviews and informative buying guides. The resident audiophile (or audio weirdo), she's got an eye for detail and a love of top-quality sound. Apple is her bread and butter, with attention on HomeKit and Apple iPhone and Mac hardware. You won't find her far away from a keyboard even outside of working at iMore – in her spare time, she spends her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays. Also known to enjoy driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.