Apple may be working on foldable iPhone with ‘self-healing’ screen

Apple may be working on foldable iPhone with ‘self-healing’ screen

Apple may be developing a foldable iPhone with a “self-healing” layer on its screen to automatically fill in dents and scratches, a new company patent reveals.

Apple’s leading rivals such as Samsung, Google and OnePlus have already introduced foldable smartphones, with newer versions seeking to refine early designs.

Samsung Galaxy Flip and Fold 5, for example, have slimmer screens, reducing the creasing in the middle and allowing the phones to flex better.

Apple has teased two foldable iPhone prototypes in its new patent and may be working on a foldable iPad as well. A foldable iPhone with a thin screen may land by 2026.

Thinner screens have made foldable smartphones more prone to scratches and bumps, and even more fragile and easy to break.

Apple seems to be trying to overcome this problem with a “self-healing material” coating on the screen that “may fill the dent even without external intervention”.

In the screen designs that the Silicon Valley giant has teased in its new patent, the device seems to apply heat, light or electrical current to the screen surface to stimulate a “healing” process.

Apple has teased “self-healing” technology in previous designs but not in the context of foldable phones.

“To help mitigate the number of dents, scratches or other imperfections in a display cover layer, the display cover layer may include a layer of self-healing material,” the tech giant has said.

One of its designs uses “transparent conductors” to heat the phone’s display cover layer while charging, or when users activate the feature.

Alternatively, Apple says light, such as a separate ultraviolet source, may also be used to initiate the screen “healing” process.

It is unclear if this technology will power any particular phone, laptop or tablet.

The patent describes Apple’s screen innovation as “a polymer or any other desired material having self-healing properties.”

This material coating may “extend across the entire exterior surface of the display cover”.