Apple Granted Patent for Innovative Bidirectional Foldable iPhone Design

May 07, 2024 – According to a recent listing by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Apple has been granted a new patent for a foldable iPhone, featuring a unique hinge design that allows for both inward and outward folding.

While most mainstream foldable phones currently on the market only offer either an inward or outward folding mechanism, Apple’s newly patented design explores a bidirectional folding approach.

Illustrated in Figure 2, the device utilizes multiple #40 hinges that are interconnected and rotate in a coupled motion. This enables the first and second sections of the enclosure #12 to extend in series. However, patent diagrams suggest that the overall rotation of adjacent hinged rods may be somewhat limited.

Figure 5 depicts a gear-like hinge mechanism, wherein a gear plate features an opening #84 to accommodate an axle #82, facilitating the plate’s rotation around the axle. As one half of the enclosure (#12) rotates around axle #28, the mating teeth of the plates synchronize the rotation of the other half of the enclosure.

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