Is Apple Showing its Flexibility?

We all know the iPhone is the greatest invention since the telephone itself, but what could make it even better? For example, how would an iPhone that bends be received? Such an idea might not be as far-fetched as it may sound, because Apple has continued its recent pattern of acquiring patents by securing a patent on glass screens that bend.

Patent 8336334 covers “[a]pparatus, systems and methods for alignment of a glass member for high temperature processing…” Why would Apple want to patent such a thing?

The abstract for the patent goes on to explain that “[t]he high temperature processing can, for example, pertain to a slumping process to mold glass into a predetermined shape (e.g., a three-dimensional shape).”

Could it be? Could a bendable iPhone be on the way? Maybe, but perhaps not. Apple has a history of securing patents for components which never make it past the testing phase.

Regardless, it is clear that Apple is protecting intellectual property, and this seems like one of those occasions where one would really like to be a fly on the wall in Apple’s testing lab.

While there’s no guarantee that a bendable iPhone will ever come to pass, the idea is indeed intriguing. Even the most casual of iPhone fans could surely find a use for an iPhone that bends.

While the patent covers flexible screens, the possibilities are endless. While it may be unrealistic for the entire iPhone to be bendable, a good portion of a future iDevice could be. iPhones could be stored in purses and bags more easily. Above all, a bendable Apple device could just be plain “cool.”

We have yet to see an Android or BlackBerry device bend and shake.  Only time will tell if Apple will be first out of the gate with what seems like a useful and awesome feature.

[via Wired]

(Illustration source: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office)