Supply chain leak suggests Apple is testing a foldable iPhone prototype

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,641   +616
Staff member
Rumor mill: Leaks originating in Apple's supply chain indicate that a foldable smartphone is currently being tested. If the rumors are true, the California tech giant is planning on a September 2022 release date. The current prototypes are primarily testing the folding components, including the screen and hinge bearings, for durability.

Rumors of a folding iPhone first began springing up in 2017 when Apple applied for a patent on a folding device. Even Apple's co-founder Steve Wozniak was excited about the prospect of a folding iPhone, but there was plenty of cause to hold expectations in check. After all, patents do not guarantee a product is in active development or ever will be.

However, plans for a foldable phone seem to be moving forward. Chinese newspaper Economic Daily News suggests that Apple has moved from the conceptual phase and is now actively working on a foldable phone. The company is reportedly testing prototypes with various parts from its supply chain.

Specifically, Apple is experimenting with screens and hinge bearings. Cupertino is aiming for a device that can withstand 100,000 folds. It wants to determine whether an OLED or a micro-LED would provide the target durability. It tasked its primary manufacturer Foxconn with assembling multiple prototypes.

EDN mentions that Apple is looking to release a foldable as soon as September 2022. So a folding iPhone is at least one generation away still. Other than the screen and hinge, it's hard to know what else the test devices will contain. We are only just now beginning to see rumors of what the iPhone 13 may bring, so it would be premature to speculate on what a foldable smartphone launching alongside the iPhone 14 will be packing.

As always, take this news with a healthy dose of skepticism. Apple has not officially commented on a foldable project being in the works. Of course, the company always plays its cards close to the vest. If it is looking to release something in 2022, we may start hearing information next year from more reliable leakers like iPhone analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

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amghwk

Posts: 867   +693
Looks like a thinner Gameboy Advance SP, at first glance.

But yeah, no thanks for a "foldable" phone. Already, "foldable" phones have been the excuse to charge exorbitantly, and if Apple is producing it, prepare to empty your bank.

(Talking of already available foldable devices: )

It's amusing to see companies who tried so hard to bring down the thickness of phones to a bare minimum possible, now all of a sudden, they are making it thicker again.

I wonder how long will it take for the companies to realize this is a failing "innovation", all in the name of trying to stand out in a competition of over-saturated phone market.

I guess, until they can sell off their gimmicks to suckers who'll spend obscene amount of money on anything without thinking, these companies will keep on churning more BS.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 3,746   +3,640
Looks like a thinner Gameboy Advance SP, at first glance.

But yeah, no thanks for a "foldable" phone. Already, "foldable" phones have been the excuse to charge exorbitantly, and if Apple is producing it, prepare to empty your bank.

(Talking of already available foldable devices: )

It's amusing to see companies who tried so hard to bring down the thickness of phones to a bare minimum possible, now all of a sudden, they are making it thicker again.

I wonder how long will it take for the companies to realize this is a failing "innovation", all in the name of trying to stand out in a competition of over-saturated phone market.

I guess, until they can sell off their gimmicks to suckers who'll spend obscene amount of money on anything without thinking, these companies will keep on churning more BS.
Ironically, the Gameboy Advance SP was the greatest Gameboy - and possibly handheld - ever made.

But did the Gameboy NEED a clamshell?

If the SP was made the exact same way without the fold would it have still been just as good?

I think it would have been.
 

duckofdeath

Posts: 55   +34
Anyone complaining here has never tried use a Z Flip as a daily driver.
It is bliss to be able to fold a 6.7" screen into a pocket-able little box.
The same reason the olden days flip phones were a hit applies now. Probably even more so, as screen sizes are getting comically big on phones.
 
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Nobina

Posts: 2,724   +2,372
It would be funny if after Apple releases this it actually becomes mainstream and gets the whole foldable smartphone shtick a kickstart. Remember, Apple is good at these things.
 

PurpleYoda

Posts: 133   +88
No matter what they do, foldable screens are still too fragile and will be for foreseeable future so it’s a NO from me.