Apparently, Apple has not ruled out entering the world of folding smartphones, as a patent application The newly discovered discovery suggests that the company is looking for a way to better protect these devices from drops.
Available on the United States Patent and Trademark Office website, the application is called Self-Retracting Screen Device and Screen Protection Techniques Using Fall Detection.
As described, the device will have some kind of sensor inside, like an accelerometer. If it detects that the iPhone is falling, the sensor will send a sign for a “electronically adjustable locking mechanism” so that the phone closes quickly.
The application implies that the mechanism may not close completely if the phone is too close to the floor, leaving it partially open. But nothing happens, because, according to the patent, “Even bending the screen to less than 180 degrees can offer some protection.” At least the impact will be on the sides and not directly on the screen.
Much of the patent document talks about the features of the foldable phone. For example, the sensor behind the drop protection could consist of “accelerometers, gyroscopes, compasses and/or other components” to detect motion. However, Apple does not directly target any specific technology.
The most important thing for the company is that the internal mechanisms are able to detect when the speed drops “exceeds a predetermined limit» to close automatically. It remains to be seen whether the device is actually capable of registering a drop fast enough to shut down completely.