Though there’s no telling when — or even if — such a phone would arrive.
Apple was granted a patent Tuesday for a design that could form the basis of a foldable iPhone.
The patent, which Apple applied for back in July 2014, envisions a flexible organic light-emitting diode screen, an OLED, that could fold in half, allowing for a device reminiscent of the clamshell smartphones of years past.
Apple’s filing offers significant details on how such a device might work, but it is important to remember that just because Apple has gotten a patent doesn’t mean that such a device will hit the market soon, or even at all.
To date, Apple has relied on LCD, or liquid-crystal display, screens for all iPhones, though rumors have it moving to OLED for some or all of next year’s models.
Still, a phone flexible enough to fold in half may be years in the future. Early commercial efforts at flexible displays, such as the LG G Flex and Galaxy Round, resulted in products nearly as rigid as their non-flexible counterparts, albeit with a curved rather than flat display.