Apple's recent patent application suggests plans for a foldable iPhone
Will future phones be flexible?By Rob Thubron 12 comments
Last week brought news that after appearing at various trade shows these last few years, Samsung may have finally listed its long-awaited foldable handset. Not wanting to be left out, it appears that Apple filed another US patent application back in September for what could be a similar device.
The application states the product "may be a laptop computer, a tablet computer, a cellular telephone, a wristwatch, or other electronic device." While there's no guarantee that bendable screens will be a feature of future iPhones, it's hard to imagine such technology appearing in other Apple devices.
Long-running reports claim that Apple is already working on a foldable iPhone alongside LG Display, but ETNews believes the company has joined forces with China's largest display maker, BOE, for the foldable phone. While Samsung provides the OLEDs used in the iPhone X, it seems Apple might move to a different supplier for the bendy device as it looks to reduce its reliance on its chief rival.
Although Samsung's president of mobile, Koh Dong-Jin, did say the company hopes to release a foldable handset next year, it looks as if early production issues have pushed the release date back to 2019. It's likely that Apple's version will take even longer to arrive, with 2020 a rumored production start date.
"As the head of the business, I can say our current goal is next year," said Koh Dong-Jin. "When we can overcome some problems for sure, we will launch the product."