The corresponding document appeared on the website of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). It describes the design of an “electronic display with circuit control using a crack detection resistor.” The engineers suggested adding an additional section with strain-sensitive resistors to the front panel of the smartphone. In this case, the sensors will send information about the screen failure; in fact, the iPhone will learn to diagnose independently.
The operation of the system is based on the measurement of resistance on resistors. If the sensors detect an increased resistance on display, this may indicate a breakdown of the front panel. In such a situation, the system will notify the user about the problem. Probably, the mechanism was created to warn device owners that it is dangerous to use a smartphone with a broken screen.
The patent application was filed on February 13, 2018, but the document appeared in the USPTO database only now. According to journalists, Apple registers many patents every week, and most of them are not reflected in the corporation’s gadgets.