Apple is exploring the possibility of releasing a foldable iPhone as soon as 2020 according to rumours coming out of the Far East.
According to a report from the Economic Daily News in China, Apple has sent foldable iPhone prototypes to its manufacturing partner Foxconn for testing.
Those usual ‘supply chain sources’ say Apple wants to know whether the OLED or Micro-LED display technology is more suited. Why is the display type potentially important? Because it will affect the rest of the assembly, the sources said.
The report (via MacRumors) says Apple has charged Foxconn with stress testing the bearings within the prototype phones by opening and closing them a whopping 100,000 times.
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Today’s report says Apple is working towards a potential release date of September 2022, which would likely be alongside the iPhone 14 range. It also says Apple has asked Samsung to provide the display for the handset, which has been mentioned in previous reports.
Previous speculation has suggested Apple won’t be using a foldable display panel for its handset, but two separate displays connected by a hinge, making it more like the Microsoft Surface Duo than the Galaxy Fold.
Of course, it’s still somewhat of a stretch to imagine Apple launching a foldable handset at all. The sector isn’t really emerging as the future of the industry right now, despite the tech being around for a couple of years. Phones like the Samsung Galaxy Fold Z series of handsets are yet to make a convincing case they are a better option than the standard form factor.
Apple isn’t really one for jumping in on fringe trends unless it believes there is potential for mass adoption, so this will be an interesting one to watch. Any foldable iPhone would likely have some unique Apple innovations that would take the sector to the next level.
Would you buy a foldable iPhone if Apple decided to release one? Let us know @trustedreviews on Twitter.