A newly-discovered Apple patent shows a foldable device with special techniques to maintain the fold's durability.
We're enthusiastic about the potential of folding smartphones here at Pocket-lint, but we've serious questions about whether the folding parts can actually be durable enough to use them as an everyday device.
Despite being in a backroom at Mobile World Congress this week, plenty of journalists, analysts and suits were able to get up close with Huawei's Mate X and the phone showed no sign of wear. However, the difference between a near-prototype device and something you'll fold thousands of times is quite significant.
However, the Apple patent we're talking about here - keeps the area around the fold warm to keep it from cracking because of cold. We presume that the fold would be a screen, but it seems from this patent that it may or may not be a display.
There could be a temperature sensor that detects how warm the folded portion is and if it's too low, some extra heat could be applied via the display - possibly by just activating the display.
Part of the patent (shown below) even details how the device could be held together and prevented from folding if the fold was at a sub-optimal temperature.