With Samsung’s flagship Galaxy Fold hit by major technical problem and shipping delays and Huawei embattled by the US government, another major smartphone producer is making progress the folding phone race.
Read more: Samsung is canceling pre-orders of the $2,000 Galaxy Fold if it doesn’t ship by the end of May
Apple successfully secured a patent for a device with a folding display on Tuesday, which focuses on the display and cover layer of the phone. Previously patents have revealed Apple working on other elements of folding devices, such as the hinge.
This doesn’t mean Apple is suddenly or even definitively getting ready to release a folding iPhone. The patent was submitted in January 2018, and many tech companies file patents which never materialise into actual products.
Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives told CNN the new patent shows at least that folding devices are “something on its [Apple’s] roadmap.” Ives added that Apple is still “well behind” Samsung on folding tech “but one advantage is that Samsung’s Galaxy Fold has had technical issues as well as expensive pricing.”
Samsung had to postpone the shipping of the $2,000 Galaxy Fold after a number of journalists experienced technical problems with their review models, including bulges and screen malfunctions.
Meanwhile, Huawei, which unveiled its 5G folding phone the Mate X at Mobile World Congress in February, has been placed on a blacklist by the US government — which might seal off any future phones (including the Mate X) from Google’s Android operating system.