iPhone 9 Could Be A Futuristic Device With Folding Display [PATENT]

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With the rumor mill currently fixated on the possible launch of an iPhone 8, its features, design and possible specs. You could have easily missed reports about an Apple patent application which could show a futuristic iPhone 9 design. One that if accurate may lead to a revolution in mobile technology and completely transform the form factor.

The Future iPhone 9?

Last Thursday an Apple Patent was published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Contained in the Patent were details that if they became a physical product would place Apple as a technological leader! Furthermore, since its publication, some have started to suggest that this could be the iPhone 9 a handset 18-months away. So, without going into too much detail here’s an overview of what a possible futuristic iPhone could have to offer!


Looking at the first Patent diagram above it’s clear to see that this device has a retractable display. Apparently, two cylindrical looking housing units on the left-and-right will activate from which the screen will un-scroll. Now, if you were a fan of the sci-fi series StarGate SG1, you may remember season 4 episode 4? Called Window of Opportunity this episode saw the team stuck in a time loop. One that was kept running by an alien archaeologist named Malikai.

During that episode, Malikai is seen using a device which looked similar to the one described in the Apple Patent. However, this is reality and not the imaginations of TV producers and directors. So, again looking at the above image. One can only imagine that all of its circuitry, CPU, battery unit and other components are within the cylinders.

iPhone 9 futuristic design
Source: USPTO

Flexible Retractable Display

It seems as thought Apple, and maybe other manufacturers may not have solved the standalone flexible display problem. And while futuristic in nature, this design is a stopgap towards that. However, its retractable display will also need to flexible. And it looks as though the cylinders will contain rollers and cleaning edges which release, retract, and clean the display.

According, to the growing speculation about what could be a possible iPhone 9 It’s thought Apple will opt for an OLED display. As for what may give the screen some form of rigidity. Support slats and bistable metal members that become rigid when forced into a flat state will do just that. However, these slats can be snapped back to give the OLED its flexible again. As for what prevents the device from mistakenly unrolling, two magnetic locks hold the two cylinders and other components together.

Steroscopic Cameras

Along with other electrical components like speakers and microphones, cameras mounted in either the left or right cylinder housings is possible.

Specifically, cameras if two are incorporated, they could be positioned behind an optically transparent material. If the design does allow for them they can be they can be placed far apart from one another, which would be perfect for stereoscopic imagery.

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iPhone 9 patent design
Source: USPTO

Could this become a Reality?

The answer to the above question is, of course, yes! However, the question should be could Apple pull something like this off by 2018? We expect the answer to this to be, no! Yes, OLED panels as thin as what would be required for a futuristic iPhone 9 exist. It’s a well-known fact that the worldwide supply of such panels is low, with Samsung being the world’s dominant supplier.

Additionally, it’s highly unlikely that the Cupertino-based giant’s manufacturing partners are ready for what would be a significant retooling of their factories. Not to mention, that some of the technologies required may not already exist.

Now if you were to ask us to place a bet on this not happening, we would have to refrain from such an action. Because, as you know there’s a long time between now and September 2018, and its possible that anything could happen.

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