Apple's radical new iPhone concept makes foldables look boring

A fan-made concept for a flexible iPhone
A fan-made concept for a flexible iPhone (Image credit: ConceptsiPhone)

While the Apple rumour mill is busy churning out tidbits and leaks about the upcoming iPhone 15 line up, future models are also getting a look-in. Rumours about a folding iPhone have been doing the rounds for a few years now, but if a new patent is anything to go by, Apple could be planning something even more radical.

Apple has just been awarded a patent for a rolling iPhone. Yep, you read that right – instead of folding in half, a future iPhone could be able to roll up like a stack of notes (or a tiny yoga mat). Don't fancy waiting? Roll on over to our iPhone 14 deals roundup.

Rollable iPhone patent

A screenshot from the patent filing (Image credit: Patently Apple)

As ever, the patent was spotted by Patently Apple, and describes a device with a display that "may be moved between an unrolled state in which the display is planar and a rolled state in which a rollable portion of the display is rolled up for storage."

And if you're thinking a rollable display sounds even more damage-prone than a foldable one (looking at you, Samsung), so is Apple. The company explains how the screen may be configured roll so that its outwardly facing surface receives "compressive stress" – which can help prevent scratches and cracking.

LG Rollable

LG has already teased a rollable smartphone (Image credit: LG)

But while a rolling iPhone might sound revolutionary, 'rollable' screen tech isn't actually brand new. We've seen examples of it from both LG and Samsung in the last few years, but much like folding phones, the tech is yet to hit the mainstream. Then again, if any company can make that happen, it's Apple.

From teeth-controlled AirPods to iPad/Mac hybrids, we've seen plenty of weird and wonderful patents from Apple over the last few years. Time will tell if any of them will see the light of the day, but in the meantime check out every iPhone 15 rumour we've heard so far.

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Daniel John
Senior News Editor

Daniel John is Senior News Editor at Creative Bloq. He reports on the worlds of art, design, branding and lifestyle tech (which often translates to tech made by Apple). He joined in 2020 after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more.