folding iPhone

Apple preps pair of super-thin folding iPhone prototypes

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Concept folding iPhone
Apple won't release a folding iPhone until it can make a good one.
Concept: Ran Avni

One of the design goals of a folding iPhone is a unit no thicker than one of Apple’s current handsets when folded closed, according to information leaking out of the company. In fact, a pair of incredibly thin folding iPhone prototypes already exist, according to a new report.

Cupertino’s efforts in this area have supposedly been going on since 2018, but available components haven’t been up to making the device the company wants to build.

iPhone can’t compete in ‘new paradigm’ of high-end phone design, analyst says

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Folding iPhone Prototype
Does Apple really need a folding iPhone to be successful in 2024?
Photo: KJMX

iPhone’s lack of two key features — generative AI and a foldable design — could cause a significant decline in shipments in 2024. TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says without these advances, the iPhone will fall behind amid a “new paradigm in high-end mobile phone design.”

Kuo cites supply chain sources to back up his predictions. However, there are numerous reasons to doubt his opinion.

Apple keeps plugging away on a folding iPhone

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Apple is still plugging away on a folding iPhone
This patent filing is irrefutable proof that Apple is still exploring a folding iPhone.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

We can be sure Apple isn’t ignoring the folding phone market, even though the company is showing no direct signs of making an iPhone Fold. There’s plenty of indirect evidence, including patent filings that show handsets with foldable screens.

Apple received a new patent approval that shows it’s still thinking about a folding iPhone.

Folding iPhone is here! Too bad there’s only one.

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Folding iPhone is here! Too bad there's only one.
This proof-of-concept device is the world's first folding iPhone.
Photo: KJMX

Those dreaming of a folding iPhone can look enviously at group of clever hackers in China who made one just to prove it could be done.

What they made isn’t simply a concept video. Their device is fully functional, and even uses a screen originally from an iPhone.

Apple continues testing multiple folding iPhone prototypes

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The foldable iPhone 12 Flip concept could someday be a reality.
Folding iPhone prototypes are being tested — possibly in a top-secret Apple lab under a dormant volcano on a mysterious island.
Photo: ConceptsiPhone

Work on a folding iPhone reportedly goes on. Apple is secretly testing “multiple prototypes that contain foldable displays,” according to a reliable tipster.

But the company is also watching closely to see if foldable phones will turn out to be a fad without staying power.

Apple plans iPhone features 3 years ahead

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Apple plans iPhone features 3 years ahead
Apple spends years planning iPhone designs. Which is why iPhone 14 rumors are already circulating.
Concept: ConceptsiPhone

When supposed features of the iPhone 14 leaked out in early September, some complained that the iPhone 13 wasn’t even out at the time. But an Apple VP revealed that the company starts deciding on new iPhone features a full three years before launch.

Which means Apple is probably already at work on iPhone 18. And most features of the 2022 model are almost certainly fixed.

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.

Apple invents unique, no-crease folding iPhone screen

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Apple invents a unique, no-crease folding iPhone screen
Samsung had no end of problems with its folding handset.
Photo: Samsung

It’s not yet clear whether foldable phones are a temporary gimmick or the future of mobile devices. But Apple’s certainly interested — and in a newly published patent, it describes its approach to solving one of the most often-raised problems with folding phones.

That problem? How to ensure that a foldable device doesn’t become creased or damaged when it folds. Early folding phones, such as Samsung’s troubled Galaxy Fold, have been plagued by this problem. But Apple engineers developed a solution that could help.

Galaxy Fold debacle nears its end with US launch coming Friday

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Galaxy Fold specs
Despite its problems, the Galaxy Fold is likely a harbinger of many folding phones to come.
Photo: Samsung

Samsung’s demonstration on the dangers of letting one’s reach exceed one’s grasp is almost over. The Galaxy Fold, the first mass-market phone with a foldable display, will reach US customers’ hands on Friday, many months after first scheduled.

Despite well-publicized problems, this company is already hard at work on a more affordable version. And rivals, including Apple, are also considering flexible screen handsets.

Samsung struggles to fix Galaxy Fold

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Galaxy-Fold-inside
When the Galaxy Fold will launch remains unknown.
Photo: Samsung

Samsung isn’t yet ready to commit to a release date for its troubled Galaxy Fold. Information leaking out last month had indicated the delayed folding handset might be out before July. However, Samsung said today that it isn’t prepared to commit to a timeframe.

It’s much too early to reject a folding iPhone [Opinion]

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Don’t close your mind to the potential of the folding iPhone.
Don’t close your mind to the potential of the folding iPhone. This is just one of many possibilities.
Photo: Foldable.News

Deciding now that an folding iPhone is a terrible idea is premature. There just isn’t enough information yet to judge whether any such device is something you’ll want. And it’s betting against Apple’s history of success in areas where others have failed.

While the first foldable devices from other companies have serious flaws, that in no way means any eventual Apple device with a flexible screen will be equally bad. There’s actually plenty of reason to think it won’t.

Folding iPhone concept video mixes rumors and dreams

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The folding iPhone in this concept video is just what many are hoping for.
The folding iPhone in this concept video is just what many are hoping for.
Photo: Antonio De Rosa

Apple is at least exploring the possibility of making a folding iPhone, and artists have been playing around with designs as well.

Today we have a concept video showing a flexible iOS model that also includes some of the features that are expected to be in this fall’s iPhone XI.

Watch it now:

Samsung sends foldable screen samples to Apple

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Foldable smartphone
Apple is serious about creating a foldable iPhone. Above, is a drawing for a patent Apple was granted last year.
Photo: Apple

After being one of the first out of the gate with a folding smartphone, Samsung is trying to entice competitors — including Apple — to join the foldable future.

Samsung, which debuted the Galaxy Fold at its Unpacked event on Feb. 20, has reportedly sent some foldable display panel samples to Cupertino in hopes of attracting Apple as a client.

Steve Wozniak wants a folding iPhone even if you don’t

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Folding
Apple’s original tech guru wants something like this concept device.
Photo: Foldable.News

The co-founder of Apple, and its original tech guru, can’t wait to get his hands on a folding iPhone. The first generation of folding devices from Samsung, Huawei, and others have met with  skepticism from some quarters, but not Steve Wozniak. 

He thinks Apple should get a handset with a folding display on the market soon.