Hot off the heels of the Samsung Galaxy Fold, Apple could be set to make its own entry into foldable technology in the coming years with a future Apple Watch generation.
According to a new patent, Apple is planning on a new smartwatch with a flexible curved display that spans the entire watch face and band creating a singular large OLED and MicroLED surface, potentially used to display content and information.
In the patent filing, which was granted to Apple last month, the company said that: “In accordance with embodiments of the invention the display module can be incorporated into a wearable electronic device, for example, a smartwatch.
“In such an embodiment, the display area of the display substrate spans a watch face and a band of the smartwatch. In another embodiment, the display substrate is secured to a spool.
“In such an embodiment, the spool can include the one or more driver circuits in electrical contact with the plurality of interconnects.”
Although Apple is known to acquire patents for technology it may never use, the company did acquire a firm that specializes in microLED technology back in 2014, a clear sign that the company is interested in taking foldable, flexible screens to the next level for future products.
Apple Watch 5: Rumored Features
With the patent filing only being granted in February, it seems unlikely that Apple will introduce the new technology as early as September, although certainly not impossible.
What is more likely, however, is for Apple to launch a Watch with a new ceramic casing design, as first rumored by trusted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Kuo also suggests that Apple will introduce support for its ECG monitor to more countries as part of the Apple Watch 5 rollout, although that could be through a software update to allow Apple Watch 4 users to benefit from the technology.
The analyst adds that Apple will introduce two-way wireless charging on its next generation of iPhones, which would allow users to play an Apple Watch on the iPhone 11 and charge using the phone’s battery.
That’s on top of the long-awaited AirPower charging pad, which can charge iPhones, AirPods, and Apple Watches simultaneously.
First announced in 2017, new reports suggest that the pad will finally be available to purchase in 2019 following serious production issues.
We’ll bring you the latest on Apple Watch 5 as and when we get it. In the meantime, don’t forget to subscribe to the magazine for news and analysis you won’t find anywhere else.