If multiple reports are to be believed, Apple is working on launching a folding iPhone soon. Adarsh takes you through all we know so far….

Over the last few years, iPhone sales have taken a nosedive, especially with recent versions not having much in terms of upgrades despite the increase in pricing. The Cupertino-based company would have observed that many of their competition brands have successfully forayed into or relaunched foldable devices in recent years, like the Samsung Galaxy Flip series, the Google Pixel Fold, the Motorola Razr series and the One Plus Open to name a few.

And for this reason, Apple might be considering launching a foldable iPhone and even a foldable iPad.

Image Credit: EverythingApplePro

But don’t get your hopes up just yet. Because as per Korean publication Alpha Economy, Apple’s current priority is its program of OLED display upgrades for iPads and Macs. So the flip phones may take until 2026 to arrive.

What We Know So Far

According to multiple reports, Apple are in talks with ‘at least one’ part maker in Asia to procure components for foldable iPhones of different sizes. This is also the reason to believe that the company might be experimenting with or planning to introduce more than one foldable model.

The same source has made another claim that a ‘significant number’ of Apple employees who were previously working on the Vision Pro are now focussing on developing the foldable model. There is also talk of Apple hoping to sell more than 50 million units.

Image Credit: Gadgets Now

Details About the Model

According to renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the first foldable iPhone will have a huge display measuring 8 inches. Kuo also predicts that Apple might be planning to use colour e-ink displays for the exterior display on foldables. This type of screen wouldn’t be as reactive as an LCD or OLED panel but it would be great for keeping battery consumption low.

There is another contrasting report that claims that Apple could be working with LG on a 7.5-inch OLED foldable display panel.

Jon Prosser – owner of Front Page Tech labs – claims that Apple has already tested two different kinds of iPhone Flip. One is a fold-out book-style hybrid tablet, very similar to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold or the Pixel Fold. The second version is supposedly a clamshell flip phone design akin to the Galaxy Z Flip range. Prosser believes that Apple will be going ahead with the clamshell design but he did add that it is still early in the development process and there’s still a chance that things could change.

Image Credit: ConceptsiPhone

Problems being faced by Apple

According to most of the aforementioned reports, Apple are looking to create a foldable model with an external screen. But the engineers working on the project are struggling with it as the external screen seems to break easily.

Apple is notorious for products that break way too easily so their plan to make the foldable phone ‘as thin as current iPhone models’ seems quite ambitious. Another issue is that components like the battery and display are adding to the thickness of the device.

How Apple plans to Solve this

Apple have reportedly filed for a patent to ensure the foldable iPhone has an in-built self-preservation system in case it is dropped. The idea is that the flip phone‘s hinge will start to close mid-drop and shift the balance of the phone. This will ensure that the screen will not hit the ground and thus breakage can be avoided.

iPhone 17 Flip : iPhone Fold Trailer – Concept video of the foldable iPhone

The Last Word

Around 15.8 million iPhones were sold in all of 2023. Which makes the company’s plans to sell 50 million flip models quite ambitious. Another blocker could be the pricing… Samsung’s flip model is more expensive than the current iPhone so a foldable iPhone with its expensive components would be priced even higher. Which makes you wonder how many people would be realistically able to afford one.

But if there is one brand that can actually make people loosen their purse strings or even apply for an EMI, it’s Apple. And a foldable iPhone sounds like something fantasies are made of!

How it will fare remains to be seen….

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Adarsh hates personal bios, Chelsea football club and Oxford commas. When he's not writing, he's busy playing FIFA on his PlayStation.

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