Apple has been granted a patent for a fold-up fabric-backed OLED smartphone, sparking rumours that this is the plan for the anniversary edition of the iPhone next year.
Folding phones have been expected to hit the market for some time now, and the latest intel suggests both LG and Samsung have devices like this on the way. Both have filed patents and LG has already unveiled a roll-up OLED TV, strongly suggesting flexible electronics will be the next key battleground for the big players.
While fold-up phones might sound like an odd proposition, the benefits are there: one of the main things keeping smartphones the size they are is the will-it-pocket factor. A phone that fits in your jeans but folds out to tablet-size could be an ideal compromise - or it might be another gimmick no one cares about. Like modularity.
It's been a decade this year since Apple showed off the first ever iPhone, and the long-expected anniversary edition iPhone is likely to be a showstopper. Whether we'll see it this September (which should technically be the iPhone 7S according to Apple's usual release schedule) or next year remains to be seen, but between the rumours of transparency and foldyness, it sounds like the iPhone 8 (or X, or whatever it ends up being called) will be something special - and no doubt damned expensive. Better start saving. [TheLeaker via T3]
Image: one of LG's prototype flexible displays