Apple’s New Patents: Cleaner AirPods, Foldable Tech

The United States Patent and Trademark Office recently approved several design patents submitted by Apple, including a cleaning tool for AirPods and a device featuring a foldable screen.

Apple’s novel patents reveal an ingenious pen-like tool specifically designed for the maintenance of AirPods and a device boasting a collapsible screen. However, it remains unconfirmed whether these innovations will be commercialized.

Image: Patently Apple

The AirPods cleaning tool is ingeniously crafted to resemble a pen, incorporating a cleaning cloth, a gentle wiping solution, and a soft brush complemented by cleaning gel. The soft brush, fabricated from flexible material to prevent damage to the surface being cleaned, is positioned at the forefront of the pen tool. The rear end can be opened to house the gentle wiping solution, while a sealed design ensures the solvent does not dry out. Both the wiping solution and the gel are formulated to be gentle on surfaces, avoiding any adverse effects on the material.

Regarding the device with a foldable screen, it primarily details the operational aspects of the screen during the folding process without specifying whether it’s intended for smartphones, tablets, or laptops. Recent rumors suggest that Apple’s inaugural foldable screen device may feature a 20-inch screen, potentially leading to a foldable iPad capable of offering a MacBook-like user experience. The anticipated release timeframe for this groundbreaking device is between 2025 and 2026.

Past rumors have hinted at Apple‘s plans to launch a smartphone with a foldable screen. However, given the generally low durability of current foldable smartphones and the lack of a distinct user experience, Apple may not have planned to introduce an iPhone model with a foldable screen design yet.