Apple may finally have a plan in place for its own folding devices, and it looks like they are taking a page from the Microsoft playbook. The information, which comes from a patent filing unearthed by Patently Apple, details a dual-screen folding device akin to the upcoming Microsoft Surface Duo.
As is always the case with patents, the act of filing it doesn't indicate that Apple is going to produce the product, and this isn't even the first Apple folding device patent we've seen. Still, it's interesting to see what they are at least considering.
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It would not be shocking to see Apple go this route for a fledgling foldable effort as devices with actual folding screens like the Samsung Galaxy Fold or the Motorola RAZR have proven both phenomenally expensive and not very durable.
The patent envisions a dual-screen device that behaves much in the same way as Microsoft's Surface Duo and Neo, with two screens that act independently or as a single, large display. How those screens behave is dictated by proximity, which is detected by magnets and the angle of the two screens in relation to one another.
Patent language can be a bit difficult to parse, but the phrasing and some of the drawings indicates that Apple is contemplating two completely independent devices, which could then be joined together using a case. That sounds more like the recently announced LG V60 ThinQ 5G, a smartphone with a secondary screen that attaches via a case.
Whichever method Apple uses, it's unlikely to arrive this year as we already have plenty of rumored changes for the iPad Pro 2020.