Apple has patented a method that would see traditional glass screens found on a smartphone turned into a flexible display.
The new patent has been awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. U.S. patent 8,336,334 explains a method of utilizing heat while bending glass over a mold to achieve a particular shape.
Samsung recently confirmed its plans to show a 5.5-inch flexible smartphone screen during CES, with fellow handset manufacturer Nokia having also tested flexible phones.
Part of the 'slumping' process, which is the way the glass is bent over a mold, Apple's patent details how the method can be used to change glass shapes in order to create a bend or curve. The method would prevent the overstretching of the glass or potentially causing cracks created by air vacuums.
The patent also points towards the method, system and tools required for high-temperature processing; Apple said it can be applied to "small factor electronic devices," including phones and user input devices.