Apple's foldable iPhone might have a self-healing screen when it finally launches

iPhone fold mockup
(Image credit: Future)

We know that Apple is working on a foldable iPhone. In fact, a more recent report informs us that the tech giant is working on two – one that folds like a book, and the other clamshell style. Apple has been exploring these products for over a decade, and is developing its own tech for them, and that includes the display. A recent patent gives us a look at what Apple's been working on, and it might be a foldable screen we've never seen before.

The patent, first spotted by Patently Apple, outlines Apple’s vision for a foldable device that could self-heal. There'll be a new self-healing layer that makes your phone almost invincible to the daily grind. Unlike Samsung’s foldables or any other alternative, Apple’s bendy phone would feature a coating that “may fill the dent even without external intervention.”

A folding iPhone that could heal itself?

The specifics of the self-healing layer Apple's working on are still murky. The patent mentions “a polymer or any other desired material having self-healing properties,” isn't particularly precise (for obvious reasons). This coating might cover the entire surface of the display, or just the folding part. Either way, it'll be making your phone look as pristine as the day you unboxed it, no matter how clumsy you are.

Apple self-healing foldable iPhone display patent

(Image credit: Apple/USPTO)

To achieve this self-healing, the iPhone display might use heat, light, or even an electrical current to stimulate this healing process. Think “transparent conductors” that activate when you’re charging your phone or flipping a switch. This tech wouldn’t be limited to phones, either; we’re talking laptops, tablets, maybe even your grandma’s old TV, if Apple’s feeling particularly nostalgic.

Of course, this is just a patent. So don’t start saving your pennies for a self-healing iPhone just yet. LG dabbled in self-healing tech with its G Flex phone’s back panel. Given that LG doesn't actually make smartphones anymore, this miraculous screen tech isn't the be all and end all. But it could go a long way to making Apple's debut foldable phone the best on the market, and perhaps the new best iPhone.

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Connor Jewiss

Connor is a technology writer and editor, with a byline on multiple platforms. He has been writing for around seven years now across the web and in print too. Connor has experience on most major platforms, though does hold a place in his heart for macOS, iOS/iPadOS, electric vehicles, and smartphone tech.

  • FFR
    Funny how foldable iPhones are always rumored a month before Samsung foldables are released. Can’t be a coïncidence six years in a row.