It looks like Apple is working on not one, but two foldable phones
Would you buy a folding Apple phone?
If you’re an Apple fan that’s found yourself gazing at foldable smartphones from other manufacturers, you might not have long to wait before you can get your own foldable iPhone. Taiwanese outlet Economic Daily News recently reported that Apple has two prototype foldable iPhones and foldable iPads in development that just passed internal tests for durability.
As we’ve seen with reports from other manufacturers, the devices claimed to be in development are of two orientations. One is a vertically-folding phone, similar to the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip or the reimagined Moto Razr. The other folds from tablet orientation into a smartphone size, but the screens are separate, like on dual-screen devices we’ve seen from LG or Microsoft.
We started seeing reports of Apple working on foldable devices three years ago, with a rumored 2020 release date. 2020 came and went, with no sign of the device, but last year was anything but normal so delays were likely.
Apple’s manufacturing partner Foxconn carried out the tests, with reports in November that the tests would evaluate the screens and hinges over 100,000 opening and closing tests. Those reports also mentioned that both OLED and Micro-LED versions would be used, as the assembly methods differ between the two technologies. If OLED, it will likely be the same Samsung panels used in the Galaxy Z Flip or Fold 2, as that same report mentioned Samsung by name.
Will there be more of a market for foldables by the time Apple’s devices are ready in 2022 or 2023? The manufacturers of Android handsets seem to think so, with Samsung, Xiaomi, and others all devoting large amounts of engineering time to developing new devices. Apple might be late to the party this time, but that’s never stopped them from carving out market share.
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