Apple has been reported to be working on a foldable iPhone model quite often in the recent past. Now, according to a recent patent filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Apple is working on a camera system for a bendable electronic device, that can also be an external part and not integrated within the smartphone. This comes amid reports of Apple already testing a foldable iPhone model with its supplier Foxconn.
According to reports, Apple is looking at two foldable smartphone designs - one that resembles the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 and turns the iPhone into an iPad-like device by opening, and closes like a book. The other design being considered is a flip-style form factor similar to the Moto Razr and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip. In the patent application filed with the USPTO, Apple says that an electronic device may have a flexible housing formed from flexible fabric, flexible polymer, or other flexible materials. The patent further hints that the cameras may be mounted on the housing, which may be bent into different configurations like a configuration in which the housing has a convex surface facing an exterior region and a configuration in which the housing has a concave surface facing the exterior region.
The patent also says that the cameras may have different image capture directions. And by reorienting the cameras, they can be used to capture panoramic images or three-dimensional images.
From what the patent application suggests, it seems that Apple is looking to re-think the smartphone cameras as it will include an external unit that would connect with the smartphone by using wires or wireless technology. This may be connected with the foldable iPhone using a flexible case and may or may not be different from the camera module in the foldable iPhone model.
It is not known as to when Apple will bring its foldable iPhone, but reports have said that it could arrive as early as 2022.