Apple's foldable iPhone could have a strange flip phone form factor

iPhone 12 Pro Max display App Library
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Apple has been granted a patent that presents an iPhone with a foldable form factor, but it describes a flip phone that supports physical buttons. That doesn't sound very Apple to us.

As seen on Patently Apple, the US Patent & Trademark Office granted a patent to Apple, which it originally applied for back in 2019. It shows a clamshell flip phone design, except unlike the recent foldable iPhone rumours, it describes "various types of physical buttons." Kicking it old school, are we?  

Foldable iPhone

(Image credit: Patently Apple)

Patents usually never represent the final product, so we're not sure what Apple may be mocking up. Although, the patent also states the use of touch sensors and force-sensitive displays, along with swipe gestures and touch inputs.

The patent also shows the different materials and 'Air-Permeable Structure' that would be suitable, so it may be taking certain design features from the flip phone form factor to create something a bit more, well, Apple.

Rumours have been swirling that Apple is making two iPhone foldables; one with one large continuous screen in the same vein as the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip; and another with dual-screens like the Microsoft Duo. The recently granted patent is pointing toward more of a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip type design with physical buttons possibly being at the side.

Apple's foldable iPhone may not arrive for a couple more years, although Samsung Display could now be working with Apple by offerings its foldable display technology

Darragh Murphy

Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.