May 22, 2024

Apple patent reveals future iPhones might have stretchable displays

The iPhone 7 Plus

What will iPhones five or 10 years from now look like? While the iPhone is inching closer toward becoming just a single pane of glass, the future could look very different.

A patent filed last year and made public this week, unearthed by AppleInsider, suggests Apple is potentially interested in making electronic devices with flexible displays that could stretch.

The patent describes solutions for a “flexible input-output device” that may be “formed from an elastomeric substrate layer” (stretchy material).

Moreover, sensors such as “touch sensors, force sensors, temperature sensors, accelerometers, and other sensors, and vibrators or other devices for providing haptic feedback” could be integrated into the stretchable screen, removing the need for top bezels of any kind to house them.

An illustration for a stretchable display, as described in a new Apple patent.

An illustration of a stretchable display that can conform to physical objects underneath it.

Circuitry and sensors such as vibration motors would be integrated into the stretchy material.


There are many advantages to a device with a flexible/stretchable display, including increased durability and new form factors that could either fold in half or wrap around your wrist.

Unsurprisingly, it’s been rumored many times that Apple is exploring the idea of using flexible displays for future iPhones, and the company holds several patents for creating bendable displays.

But while Apple hasn’t made the leap to flexible displays (yet), rumors suggest Samsung and LG are preparing to do just that. Both Korean electronics companies will reportedly launch flexible smartphones that fold open into tablets later this year.

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