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Apple's patent adds to the publicity around foldable devices from the iPhone creator

February 17, 2023: -Apple’s recent patent adds to anticipation that the iPhone creator will be on the cusp of launching a foldable device.

On Tuesday, the patent awarded to Apple describes technology that permits users to touch different parts of a device, not only the screen, to handle the functions.

For instance, a user could touch the side of a gadget to control the camera, according to the patent. Apple states this as a “virtual shutter button.” Users could also slide their fingers up and down the part of the device to control the volume.

One of the things included in the patent draws of a foldable phone or tablet with a wraparound screen.

Unlike competitors such as Samsung, Apple is yet to discuss a foldable iPhone or any device. Foldable gadgets allow the user to bend the gadgets to close them and reopen them to reveal a larger screen.

But several analyst predictions, and this patent, are adding to the expectation that the U.S. technology giant could bring a foldable device out in the not-too-distant future.

On Tuesday’s note, analysts at UBS said that the patent “could indicate foldable gadgets is a possibility but not this year.” The analysts stated that a foldable smartphone “could be an incremental opportunity for the upcoming generation iPhone models.”

“We believe that a foldable iPhone model leading to an uptick in consumer buying and upgrade price within the smartphone segment,” UBS stated in its note.

Analysts at the investment bank stated that if a foldable device “compresses the upgrade price for iPhone” or attracts users switching starting from Android phones, iPhone unit development could surpass its estimates of 238 million gadgets in Apple’s fiscal year runs from October 2023 to September 2024.

Still, according to IDC, foldable handsets are just a tiny portion of the overall market, accounting for just 1.1% of smartphone shipments in 2022.

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