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(Pocket-lint) - With Samsung making various foldable devices in different form factors, and Google reportedly developing a foldable phone of its own, Apple is, of course, also quietly toying with the idea. Evidence of this comes in the form of a newly granted Apple patent.

The US Patent and Trademark Office recently granted the Cupertino-based company a patent that relates to a foldable tablet-looking device. The granted patent covers multiple electronic devices and displays being used together in a system. Figures in the patent show a pair of electronic devices supported by a bendable case with an internal hinge structure, as well as a pair of electronic devices in a case that has been folded back on itself.

The patent imagines a mode called the joint operating mode, where one image can seamlessly be divided into two displays or it can be presented as one large image. As Patently Apple noted, the concept sounds quite similar to Microsoft's Surface Neo, a device that some also considered a foldable tablet.

You can see more images of the patent at Patently Apple.

Keep in mind Apple has been rumoured in the past to be working on a foldable iPhone. One report even claimed it'd launch in 2023 with an 8-inch display.

For a look at the best upcoming foldable phones, see Pocket-lint's guide here. We also have a round-up of the best existing foldables here.

Writing by Maggie Tillman.
  • Source: Apple wins patent for a Foldable Device that could present content in one large image or Split Screen & double as a Notebook-Like Device - patentlyapple.com
Sections Apple Tablets Phones