flexible iPhone patent

Apple has been awarded a patent for flexible device technology that could one day make its way into iPhone and other iOS devices. The company describes how the technology could make mobile gadgets more durable — and more versatile.

The patent, titled “Flexible Electronic Devices,” suggests combining flexible OLED displays like those used by Samsung in its Galaxy S7 edge with flexible components that could allow future iPhones to be rolled and twisted.

Apple notes how flexible components could make mobile gadgets more durable and more resistant to impact. It also suggests that they could provide different functions based on the shape they are formed into.

For instance, an iPhone could offer the same functionality we’re already familiar with when it’s flat, but could then take on a custom user interface and different functions when rolled up. Maybe it will allow for iPhones that become Apple Watches when wrapped around your wrist.

It could also lead to Apple Watches that are essentially just flexible displays, and iPads you can roll up like a newspaper or magazine.

Of course, there’s a long way to go before that’s possible. While flexible displays are already here, flexible batteries, processors, memory chips, and other components required to build an iPhone, are not.