We know that Samsung and Apple often take “inspiration” from each other’s products, and it seems that both tech giants could soon be adding a new phone design to their lineups. After many years of reports that Samsung is working on a foldable device, it appears that Apple’s bendable iPhone/iPad could be here within the next two years.
Samsung’s own foldable phone/tablet, codenamed “Project Valley,” has been in the works for at least four years, and we recently saw more signs that it could be nearing market readiness. According to a new analyst report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Apple is developing a similar device that’s set for release in 2020—one that could potentially be both an iPhone and an iPad.
“We expect the iPhones this fall to be largely unchanged for the OLED versions although size changes have proved to be a catalyst in the past,” wrote senior analyst Wamsi Mohan, in a note to clients (via CNBC). “Our checks also suggest that Apple is working with suppliers on a foldable phone (that potentially could double up as a tablet) for launch in 2020.”
There have been long-running reports that Apple is working on a foldable iPhone with LG display—or possibly BOE, according to ETNews. The chances of ever seeing such a device increased last November, when it was discovered Apple had patented what appeared to be a foldable handset. The application states the product “may be a laptop computer, a tablet computer, a cellular telephone, a wristwatch, or other electronic device,” though a phone seems the most likely.
Exactly how much consumers want flexible phones is unclear. But such a radical redesign could give the stagnating industry, which is increasingly seeing only incremental improvements in new phone models, a boost.