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Apple Job Listing and Patent Filing Hints At the Possibility of a Flexible iPhone

by Brandon Russell | April 10, 2013April 10, 2013 2:30 pm PST


Your iPhone might one day have a flexible display, according to a new Apple job listing. Unearthed by 9to5Mac, Apple is apparently on the prowl for a Display Specialist that would help investigate flexible display technology “to improve overall display optical performance.” The applicant will also look into improving high optical efficiency LCD and AMOLED technology, too.

A separate report from 9to5Mac, detailing a new flexible devices that adapts to the way it’s bent, also showed up today, carefully lining up the very real possibility of an all new mobile experience from Apple. That patent specifically outlines not only flexible displays, but flexible components: batteries, circuit boards and the housing materials themselves. The device itself would further change depending on how the display is manipulated.

Strangely, the flexible devices patent uses an example of actually folding a handset in half to make for easier pocket storage. The device, in turn, would respond by executing standby mode, and would react similarly to other “inactive deformations.”

The job listing calls for someone who can “analyze the trade-offs between design, process, optical performance, and implementation feasibility.” Couple that potential candidate with Apple’s patent, and your next iPhone could very well be flexible.

Not that we haven’t seen the potential for flexible displays before—Samsung, Sharp and LG have all investigated such technology—but never in a big consumer product. The technology may not yet be viable for a complete handset, at least not in the way we experience devices today. But companies are actively trying to figure out how to make it all work—the display, components, etc.—to make for some truly bizarre next-generation devices. Though, from the sound of it, we’ll have to wait at least a few years to see what the fuss is all about.

Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...