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).
Apple is reportedly testing two different folding iPhone designs. But only one of them has a flexible screen. If one of the prototypes successfully passes testing, it could become the first foldable iOS handset.
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.
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.
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.
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.