Why a folding iPhone is probably just 2 years away

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Why a folding iPhone is probably just 2 years away
A 2023 iPhone could look like this, letting users put an 8-inch screen in their pocket.
Concept: Ran Avni

There’s plenty of proof that Apple has had a folding iPhone on the drawing board for years. But the company held off until flexible displays are past the prototype phase. The latest foldables from Samsung show that the technology has finally matured to the point where an iPhone Fold could become a mass-market success.

This surely hasn’t escaped Apple’s attention, which is why a folding iPhone is probably coming in 2023.

8-inch folding iPhone might launch in 2023

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An iPhone concept shows a realistic folding iPhone design
If Apple makes a foldable iPhone, it might look like this concept design.
Screenshot: ConceptsiPhone

A folding iPhone is two years away, according to a trusted industry analyst. When open, the device will have an 8-inch screen, significantly bigger than the current largest iOS model, which has a 6.7-inch display.

First folding iPhone might be a fun, colorful ‘flip phone’

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The first folding iPhone might look something like this.
The first folding iPhone might look something like this.
Screenshot: Front Page Tech

Apple could have decided on the look of the first folding iPhone. Previously, the company was thought to be considering two options, but the winner is a “flip phone” design, according to a trusted Apple prognosticator.

The same source also has a hint that the folding iPhone might cost less than rival flexible phones. But it supposedly will not arrive before 2023 (and could come even later).

Touch ID could return in 2021 iPhone 13

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The 2018 iPhone models aren't going to have an in-display Touch ID fingerprint scanner.
Touch ID could be back, but not as you know it.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A fingerprint scanner might once again be part of Apple’s iPhone line, according to a reliable source. Touch ID might appear in 2021 alongside Face ID, not in place of it.

Also, Apple reportedly has a folding screen in the prototype stage.

‘Self-healing’ display could make folding iPhone invincible

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Apple filed for a ‘self-healing’ folding iPhone patent on Thursday
Of course a folding iPhone screen won‘t develop a crease. But Apple is still exploring how to make this possible.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple is working on a solution for the biggest drawback of folding displays. The first generation of foldable handsets made by rival companies develop a crease where the screen bends, but Apple engineers want to put a bendable display that includes a self-healing material in a folding iPhone.

You’ll flip for this iPhone 12 Flip concept

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An iPhone concept shows a realistic folding iPhone design
If Apple makes a foldable iPhone, it might look like this concept design.
Screenshot: ConceptsiPhone

When Apple gets into the foldable phone market, as arch-rival Samsung has already done, its first model might well look much like the iPhone 12 Flip. But for now, this is only a concept design.

Watch a video of it now:

Apple keeps tinkering with the best design for folding iPhone

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A folding iPhone might leave a portion of the screen always exposed.
Apple patented a folding iPhone with a section of the screen ialways available for notifications or other functions.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple has undoubtedly been investigating a folding iPhone for years because it keeps patenting designs. Including one awarded on Tuesday for an iPhone that folds closed while leaving a portion of the screen exposed to display status updates.

Apple explores flexible batteries for folding iPhones and iPads

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This is an early concept drawing from Apple for a folding iPhone.
This is an early concept drawing from Apple for a folding iPhone.
Photo: Apple

It would be easier to make a foldable iPhone or iPad if it could include a flexible battery. Apple is investigating these as a power source, and was granted a patent on the technology on Tuesday.

In recent years, the company received many patents related to computers built around folding displays. They’re proof that Apple is actively exploring using these in future products.