I previously wrote about the secrets of the top 1% of business thinkers. Today, I reveal how Apple has been planning a folding phone since 2011, using this level of thinking.
In the past, Apple has demonstrated macro level thinking. It can look ahead, see the competitive landscape and build for that future.
Apple has been planning a folding device for a long time. It filed a patent application for such a device in 2011 and was granted a patent for it in 2014.
Apple Is Already In The Foldables Market
Recent working foldable phone demonstrations included Samsung’s Galaxy Fold and Huawei’s folding Mate X.
Meanwhile, Apple filed a continuation to its existing patent for a foldable phone, on February 14th. This was not a brand-new patent application, but a continuation. It’s an update to an original invention (in this case, to Apple’s earlier mentioned applications and patents).
The newer patent reveals structural details of its folding phone, and Foldable News asked designer Roy Gilseng what he thought a foldable iPhone would look like.
Gilseng came up with some interesting concept images. One of them even included a horizontal-style keyboard.
Patents Are A Leading Indicator
You can view filed patents to learn how a company is thinking today, for the future. For example, in the earlier smartphone patent applications, Apple mention their patent is for ‘an illustrative electronic device’ with a flexible display.
This can actually apply to a range of devices like laptops and tablets, not just phones. It shows that Apple has been thinking about the applications of a flexible display to innovate across an entire group of different products and not just smartphones.
How Does This Show Top 1% Thinking?
You may have read that the top 1% business thinkers practice Ratio of Accurate Results (ROAR) Thinking. This lets you maximize the impact from every action taken.
In Apple’s case, it is well aware of OLED screens that can bend unlike more traditional LED screens. When filing its patents, Apple makes clear that they plan to use this in a wider range of products than just smartphones.
That way, they still have multiple profitable paths forward, when they meet a company with a strong competitive advantage.
Samsung Holds The Cards
Samsung has a manufacturing advantage over Apple because they make their own screens. In fact, for almost a year after the iPhone X was introduced, Samsung manufactured 100% of Apple’s OLED displays too.
In a case like this, Apple needs to think on a macro level so they can still generate more revenue and win in business. So far, they are succeeding, but for how much longer, only time will tell.
How can you use the micro/macro concept to win in business?
This article originally appeared on Forbes