Well before Samsung's Galaxy Fold ever came to market Apple envisioned that one day there would be modern and advanced foldable devices that were far beyond flip phones of yesteryear. Our first report on Apple's future folding devices dates back to 2013. Apple's history on this invention dates back to 2011. This invention has been granted five patents already and our last full report on this invention was posted in January 2017.
Being that today's patent is yet another "continuation patent," we know that any new addition will be found in their patent claims. So what's new this time around that Apple wants protected?
The big things that have been added to Apple's patent claims includes: a flexible display; control circuitry; a hinge; squeezing the flexible display changes an app; a sensor for squeezing; and a force sensor. The specifics are found below.
Claim #1: "An electronic device, comprising: a housing having a first portion and a second portion, wherein the second portion moves relative to the first portion; a flexible display that overlaps the first and second portions of the housing; and control circuitry that measures a change in position of the first portion relative to the second portion and that changes an operating mode of the electronic device based on the change in position."
#Claim 3, Apple states: "The electronic device defined in claim 2 wherein the region comprises a hinge.
Claim #9: An electronic device, comprising: a flexible housing; a display that produces display content; a sensor that detects a squeeze of the flexible housing; and control circuitry that changes the display content in response to the squeeze of the flexible housing.
Claim #10: The electronic device defined in claim 9, wherein the control circuitry activates a software application in response to the squeeze of the flexible housing.
Claim #16: The electronic device defined in claim 9, wherein the sensor comprises a force sensor.
Claim #20: The electronic device defined in claim 17, wherein the sensor comprises a force sensor that is located in the flexible display.
Apple's continuation patent 20190278422 that was published today by the U.S. Patent Office was originally filed back in May 2019. To compare the current patent claims to those from Apple's last patent claims, visit Apple's June 2019 continuation patent here. Apple has a large pool of patents covering foldable and flexible devices and display that you could review in our archives here.