Apple's first foldable could take a page from Microsoft's playbook

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

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.

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.

(Image credit: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office)

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

Sean Riley

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.