iPhone Flip: What we know about Apple’s foldable plan

Over the past few years, Samsung has been releasing annually August Galaxy Unpacked Events Asking the same question among iPhone fans: When will Apple give us something like Galaxy Z Flip 4 or Galaxy Z Fold 4?

Rumors about Apple working on foldable iPhone technology have been circulating for years. Despite how much we’ve been hearing about Apple’s research and development on this legendary device, it always seems to be pretty close and years away at the same time.

Technical Multimedia

One thing that seems clear is that Apple is experimenting with at least one foldable iPhone in the depths of its business. Moreover, it is difficult to determine what the “iPhone Flip” might look like or even when we see it. However, here’s what we know about the alleged iPhone from putting together various clues over the years.

Design and display

Very little is known about the design that Apple may eventually use for its first foldable iPhone. Samsung has covered the two most obvious approaches with Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Fold 4 But that doesn’t mean Apple should follow suit. Apple has filed dozens of patents hinting at designs for the foldable iPhone, but they contain many possibilities now that anyone can guess about the direction the company will take. They can’t all be right.

We know that Apple is actively working on foldable prototypes. Several reports have revealed that Apple has been developing and testing foldable OLED displays and hinges since at least 2017, and research and development is still ongoing.

Apple iPhone Flip mockup.
iPhone Concepts

In 2016, LG began mass-producing foldable displays, which indicates that it plans to supply them to several companies, including Apple. This idea gained even more strength in late 2017 when sources claimed Apple and LG have been an active partnership To develop a specific foldable display technology for the iPhone in the future – Partnership still going.

By 2020, it was reported that Apple and Samsung Display were signed a deal The display maker will provide a “large number” of foldable display samples over the course of a year for use in testing foldable iPhone models. At the same time, Apple has also reportedly begun testing the hinges, looking for a screen and hinge that can withstand up to 100,000 times.

To put this in perspective, most laptop hinges are rated somewhere between 30,000 and 50,000 times higher. but, Galaxy Z Fold 4 can survive at least 200,000 times. We haven’t heard if Apple has since raised its standards to match Samsung’s.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 sitting on a bench.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

It also appears that Apple is testing a few significantly different designs. In early 2020, Monk John Prosser claimed that Saw a prototype of a device that uses a two-screen design Microsoft style new surface And the Surface Duo Instead of a single foldable screen.

However, by the following year, Prosser said his sources told him that after completing the first round of hinge testing, Apple will go all out for a clamshell foldable iPhone Similar to the Galaxy Z Flip. Prosser also claimed that this iPhone will come in more “cheerful” colors to target “more regular customers”.

Meanwhile, industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that Apple’s first foldable phone would be much larger and might not even be an iPhone per se. While that, Kuo anticipates a whole new class of device with a screen from 7.5 to 8 inches This would blur the line between iPhone and iPad. Unlike Prosser, Kuo does not claim to have seen any examples of this device.

Foldable iPhone model.
Obviously the apple

It’s worth noting that while Prosser has often been correct about Apple product release dates, he has a less reliable track record when it comes to Apple products since he relies primarily on sources that claim to have inside information about what’s going on inside Apple. Kuo’s predictions usually come the other way, looking at trends within Apple’s supply chain and what kind of components are needed.

Of course, like Samsung, Apple may have two devices in the pipeline: the clamshell foldable “iPhone Flip” built for fun, along with the more serious business-class “iPhone Fold” or “iPad Fold.”

Cameras and other specifications

Early 2021 report from Bloomberg Mark Gorman might throw a dash of cold water at leakers who claim they’ve already seen foldable iPhone prototypes. According to Gorman, Apple’s development of a foldable iPhone hasn’t gone beyond the show, and the company doesn’t yet have full prototypes of the phone in its labs.

In the nearly two years since that report, we’ve heard little more than the occasional confirmation that Apple is still in the early stages of trying out multiple designs.

There is no information available about what we’ll see in terms of cameras, processors, and other features. That’s not surprising at this point, as it’s possible that Apple hasn’t made those decisions yet. naturally, There is a lot of speculationBut all this should be taken with skepticism.

face program

While most of the leaks and reports have focused on the hardware and foldable iPhone design, it’s also possible that Apple is working hard on the software side of things. Neither iOS nor iPadOS, as they exist today, will translate so easily into a foldable design. This year, Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4 showed us that the software interface is as essential to the foldable experience as the hardware design.

Multiple apps running simultaneously on Galaxy Z Fold 4.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Given Apple’s careful attention to user experiences, the company is likely already coming up with ideas for a foldable version of its mobile operating system. Depending on which direction your iPhone Flip is going, We may see a brand new iOS derivative appear on it.

release day

Although Apple is actively testing designs for one or more foldable iPhones, multiple sources have indicated that the company is not fully sold out yet. perfect, We are years away from the foldable iPhone; at worst, We may not see one at all.

In his early 2021 report, Gorman explained that Apple had not “reinforced its plans to launch a truly foldable iPhone”. In early 2022, Mac rumors Share a message from leaker Dylandkt that SAID Apple still has concerns about the viability of foldable display technology and whether there is enough market for foldable smartphones.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 standing upside down on a table.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

In a series of since-deleted tweets along with Dylandkt’s Twitter account, the leaker said that while Apple is still working on different ideas, some inside the company feel the display technology hasn’t reached maturity.

Not surprisingly, sources claim that Apple is “playing a long game” waiting to see how the technology advances. It also wants to make sure that there is a long-term market for foldable smartphones, and that this isn’t just a passing fad that will fade away in a few years.

Still, last year Kuo predicts Apple will release its first foldable iPhone by 2023It targets regular consumers and expects shipments to reach 20 million units in the first year. Kuo also expects Apple to use the latest possible display technology to give it a “long-term competitive advantage” and make it a “big winner in the trend of new foldable devices.”

However, earlier this year, display analyst Ross Young, who has a very good track record when it comes to anything screen technology, shared that he was told by supply chain sources that a foldable iPhone won’t appear before 2025, and that’s an estimate Very preliminary. “It does not appear that the company is in a hurry to enter the foldable smartphone market, and it may take longer than that,” Young noted in his book. February 2022 foldable / rollable display shipment and technology report. Koe endorsed this schedule a few months later.

I expected Apple to release a foldable iPhone as soon as 2024 in my reporting last year, but it’s now clear that that prediction needs to be revised. I expect Apple to launch its first foldable product in 2025 at the earliest, which could be a foldable iPad or a combination of iPad & iPad Pro. Iphone.

– Ming-Chi Kuo (mingchikuo) April 1, 2022

It is important to remember that 2025 is just the latest estimate in a long history of rumors and predictions. Three years ago, analysts and leakers predicted the arrival of the foldable iPhone by 2021. Which eventually became 2022, then 2023. Now it’s 2025, but we don’t recommend holding your breath because this prediction will be more reliable than other predictions.

So far, people haven’t started to abandon the iPhone in droves to move to foldable devices. Apple still sells hundreds of millions of new iPhones annually Often without even trying. Until that slows down or competing devices like the Galaxy Z Flip 4 become wildly popular, Apple doesn’t have much reason to make the iPhone Flip a priority. If you are an iPhone user and really want a foldable smartphone in the near future, unfortunately, Looks like you’ll have to switch teams.

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