Apple is working on a foldable phone of its own, new patents reveal.

A future iPhone could be hinged in the middle, according to the patents, allowing it to be folded up small and then opened again to allow the screen to be larger.

The handset is just one of a range of bendy phones being worked on by companies. While Samsung's "Galaxy X" is the most famous – and has been shown off in the most detail – just about every major company is working on its own foldable handset.
这款手机只是各公司正在研发的折叠式手机系列之一。三星公司已经向大家展示了Galaxy X手机的诸多细节,这也是最有名的折叠式手机,而且几乎所有的大公司都在研发其自有的折叠式手机。

Apple is not thought to be releasing a rival model any time soon, and the new iPhones it is set to release in September will keep the same form factor as the existing line-up. But the new patents show it has been considered for a future design.

The patent filing includes a full 24 images, showing different ways the phones could bend. And they don't apply only to iPhones – with features that could work for iPads or even Macs.

If Apple does not release its new bendy phone until 2020 or later, it is likely to be late. Samsung's foldable phone is due to be released in the coming weeks, and other companies are already preparing their own rivals.

It might also be that Apple does not reveal a foldable phone at all. The company regularly files patents for products that never actually make it to market.