| Cult of Mac

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: