Apple files patent for flexible device: All hail the bendy iPhone?

Apple has filed a patent for a flexible phone (or more broadly a flexible portable device), which can be bent or even folded up without damaging its internal components.

Given the bendgate controversy of last year, whereby Apple’s new iPhone 6 models were found to bend slightly (as pictured above) in some cases – but then, as was later proved, so can any thin metal phone – there are bound to be a few jokes cracked about this one.

Anyhow, this idea isn’t exactly new, and most companies are looking towards flexible hardware along these lines for the future.

Cupertino’s patent, spotted by Apple Insider, states that the idea is to use a flexible display, and a flexible chassis which will be moulded from plastic, thin glass, fibre composites, fabric or a combination of the above materials to make a handset which is deformable without any damage to the unit.

As well as the internal components, the battery will of course need to be flexible, and Apple notes that the “flexible battery may include flexible and rigid portions or may include a lubricious separator layer that provides flexibility for the flexible battery” (the word flexible probably isn’t used enough in this patent, incidentally).

As well as the durability of such a device, and the portability, Apple will also be able to implement fresh innovations in terms of new UI elements – so for example, making a squeeze of the phone activate a function (with different directions of squeezing doing different things, perhaps).

Whatever Cupertino comes up with, though, there’s guaranteed to be a “gate” scandal hot on the heels of the launch…