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iPhone Flip: what we know about Apple’s first foldable phone

Samsung has emerged as one of the top producers of foldable gadgets in recent years, including the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Fold 4. Although it is not the only company producing foldable gadgets, it is the most popular and readily available, particularly in the United States. Yet, that raises the question of whether Apple would follow suit and release an iPad or possibly a foldable iPhone.

There have been persistent reports that Apple may be developing a foldable iPhone, which we’ll refer to as “iPhone Flip” for the time being. Apple is a secretive firm, therefore there may very well be some research and development (R&D) on such a device. But for the time being, this is all just conjecture. Here is everything that we currently know about Apple’s folding iPhone based on the most recent news, rumor’s, and reports!

iPhone Flip: design and display

There is very little information available about the design that Apple may finally choose for its first foldable iPhone. Samsung has covered the two most obvious styles with the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Fold 4, but Apple is not required to imitate them. Apple has applied for dozens of patents that appear to show ideas for a foldable iPhone, but these have so many potential outcomes that it is now impossible to predict which course the corporation will take. They can’t all be correct.

We are aware that Apple is developing foldable prototypes. According to numerous sources, Apple has been researching and developing foldable OLED panels and hinges at least since 2017 and is continuing doing so.

In 2016, LG started mass-producing foldable displays, hinting that it intended to sell them to a number of businesses, including Apple. As it was reported that Apple and LG were actively working together to develop specific foldable display technology for an upcoming iPhone, the idea gained additional traction in late 2017.

According to a roomer from 2020, Samsung Display would provide a “huge number” of foldable display samples over the course of a year for use in testing foldable iPhone prototypes. Apple apparently started testing hinges at the same time and was searching for a display and hinge that could resist up to 100,000 folds.

To give you some context, the majority of laptop hinges are designed to withstand between 30,000 and 50,000 folds. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 can, however, withstand at least 200,000 folds. We don’t know if Apple has since improved its standards to compete with Samsung’s.

Apple also looks to be trying a few radically different designs. Leaker Jon Prosser claimed to have seen a prototype gadget in early 2020 that utilized two screens rather than a single folding display, akin to Microsoft’s Surface Neo and Surface Duo.

But by the following year, according to Prosser’s sources, Apple would be concentrating all of its efforts on a clamshell folding iPhone with a look similar to the Galaxy Z Flip after finishing the initial phase of hinge testing. In order to appeal to “more mainstream customers,” Prosser also stated that this iPhone would be available in more “joyous” hues.

Ming-Chi Kuo, an industry analyst, asserted that Apple’s first foldable device would be significantly larger and could not even be an iPhone in the traditional sense. Instead, Kuo foresaw a completely new class of gadgets with 7.5 to 8-inch displays that would resemble both the iPhone and the iPad. Kuo, in contrast to Prosser, does not assert to have observed any instances of this gadget.

It’s important to note that while Prosser has frequently predicted the release dates of Apple products, he has a considerably less trustworthy track record when it comes to Apple products because he mostly depends on sources who assert to have inside knowledge of what’s happening within Apple. As he examines patterns in Apple’s supply chain and the kinds of components in demand, Kuo typically makes predictions from the opposite way.

Of fact, Apple might be developing two products, similar to Samsung, including an amusing “iPhone Flip” that folds into a clamshell and is more business-oriented, as well as a more serious “iPhone Fold” or “iPad Fold.”

Apple has been granted a new patent that would enable touch-sensitive control regions, including solid-state buttons, on the surface of the current iPhone design, as well as a folding one in the future. Using this patent, Apple could make the iPhone, foldable or not, touch sensitive on both sides and edges. This new patent, titled “Electronic Devices Having Display And Touch Sensor Structures,” demonstrates how practical it would be to tap, swipe, or even touch an iPhone to operate it.

According to Apple, it can be difficult to effectively display images to users and collect touch input from them. “For instance, when a user touches a touch screen display, their hand may obstruct the images from appearing on the monitor. Although buttons and other input devices can be utilized to collect user input, they might not be as practical and flexible as touch sensors. Sometimes displays are too small and difficult to see from certain angles.

The patent also distinguishes between the straight edges on the existing iPhone design and the curved sides on a future folding device, which are referred to as “sidewalls.”

According to the patent, “the front wall and sections of the sides may be constructed from a glass layer or other transparent member.” “The front and sidewall portions of the glass layer may be covered by a touch sensor layer and display layer… The opposing rear wall may also be penetrated by a touch sensor layer.

It’s crucial to remember that just because Apple received these new patents for foldable devices doesn’t mean anything will actually happen. Still, this appears to be a positive development for a hypothetical foldable iPhone.

iPhone Flip: cameras and other specs

A story from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman from the beginning of 2021 might put the claims of leakers who say they’ve already seen folding iPhone prototypes under some doubt. Gurman claims that Apple’s efforts to create a foldable iPhone haven’t advanced past the display and that the company “doesn’t currently have whole handset prototypes in its labs.”

We haven’t heard much more than the odd confirmation that Apple is still in the early phases of experimenting with various designs in the roughly two years since that story.

There hasn’t been any information published on the cameras, CPUs, and other things we’ll see. At this point, it is unlikely that Apple has even made these decisions, so this is not surprising. Of course, there is a tone of speculation, but it is best tremendous remain skeptical of it all.

iPhone Flip: software

Apple is probably working diligently on the software side of things even if the majority of leaks and reports have been on the hardware and design of a foldable iPhone. The current versions of iOS and iPadOS won’t convert well to a foldable design. The software interface is just as crucial to the foldable experience as the hardware design, as Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4 shown this year.

Apple is certainly already kicking around concepts for a foldable version of its mobile operating system given the company’s fastidious attention to user experiences. Depending on the direction the iPhone Flip takes, we might see a totally new iOS variant on it.

iPhone Flip: release date

Although aggressively exploring ideas for one or more foldable iPhones, many insiders claim that Apple isn’t yet fully sold on the concept. At best, a foldable iPhone is years away; at worst, we might never see one.

Gurman made it plain in his early 2021 report that Apple has not “solidified plans to actually introduce a foldable iPhone.” Early in 2022, MacRumors published a message from leaker “Dylandkt” that claimed Apple was still unsure about the viability of foldable display technology and whether there was even a big enough demand for foldable devices.

The leaker said in a Tweet thread that has since been removed along with Dylandkt’s Twitter account that while Apple is continuously working on new concepts, some employees believe that display technology is still in its infancy.

Not unexpectedly, sources believe that Apple is “playing the long game” by waiting to see how technology develops. Apple also wants to ensure that there is a long-term market for foldable devices and that this isn’t just a fleeting trend that will fade in a few years.

Nonetheless, Kuo foresaw that Apple would deliver its first foldable iPhone by 2023, aimed at mainstream users, and that volumes might reach up to 20 million units in the first year. In order to offer itself “a long-term competitive advantage” and become “the greatest winner in the new foldable device trend,” Kuo also anticipates Apple will employ the most cutting-edge display technology available.

However earlier this year, display analyst Ross Young, who has a very good track record when it comes to anything concerning screen technology, said that he’d been told by people in the supply chain that a foldable iPhone won’t be available before 2025, and that’s just a very rough estimate. In his February 2022 report on the shipment and technology of foldable/roll able displays, Young stated that the business “does not appear to be in a hurry to enter the foldable smartphone market, and it may even take longer than that.” A few months later, Kuo confirmed this timeline.

It’s critical to keep in mind that 2025 is simply the most recent estimate in a lengthy line of rumours and forecasts. Analysts and leakers believed a foldable iPhone would be released by 2021, but that date eventually slipped to 2022, then 2023. Now that the year 2025 has passed, we don’t advise holding your breath in hopes that this forecast will prove to be any more accurate than the others.

People haven’t started dumping the iPhone in droves in favor of foldable gadgets just yet. Apple continues to annually sell hundreds of millions of brand-new iPhones, frequently without even trying. Apple has little motivation to priorities an iPhone Flip until that slows down or rival devices like the Galaxy Z Flip 4 become wildly popular. If you’re an iPhone user who truly.

And if you’re still dubious about an iPhone that folds, know that I was too, until I used a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4. Now, the prospect of a foldable iPhone excites me.