Rumor mill: Apple has reportedly started work on a foldable iPhone and is developing foldable screens internally. This year’s iPhone may also reintroduce Touch ID by placing the fingerprint-scanner under the handset’s display. And one more rumor is that Apple is working on a redesigned iMac, new Mac Pros, and a more affordable external monitor.
Apple’s foldable iPhone isn’t going to launch anytime soon, but it’s something the company is actively developing. The device’s screen is said to feature a “mostly invisible hinge” and, when unfolded, will be about the size of an iPhone 12 Pro Max -- that’s 6.7 inches.
Apple is bound to arrive late to the party since major competitors have launched similar devices recently. However, the Cupertino company will also be keen to avoid the pitfalls of foldable smartphones like Samsung’s 2019 Galaxy Fold, which suffered delays, shoddy review units, and felt like it had been rushed to the market.
The same report from Bloomberg comments on this year’s iPhone -- the iPhone 13. The upcoming device is generally said to include “minor upgrades,” but sources claim that Apple could also launch an in-screen Touch ID fingerprint scanner with the model. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard rumors of an in-screen fingerprint scanner on an iPhone, although the company may be looking at the feature with renewed interest since face coverings render Face ID useless.
AirTags are finally set to launch in 2021 and the report also suggests that Apple could remove the Lightning port on some iPhone models, allowing for wireless charging only. No Lightning port also means no in-the-box cable, and could be a further environmental step forward for Apple.
In a separate report, also from Bloomberg, Apple is said to be planning its first major redesign of the iMac since 2012. The new all-in-one desktop computer, which will form part of the iMac’s transition to Apple Silicon, will adopt a design similar to Apple’s Pro Display XDR monitor. The new iMacs will have thinner black borders, a flat back, and will launch in two sizes later this year.
Apple is also planning updates for its Mac Pro line. The first will be a minor update to the Mac Pro, and will see the desktop computer retain the design of Apple’s 2019 model. For this new iteration, Apple may continue to use Intel processors rather than its own chips. Bloomberg writes: “The second version, however, will use Apple’s own processors and be less than half the size of the current Mac Pro. The design will feature a mostly aluminum exterior and could invoke nostalgia for the Power Mac G4 Cube, a short-lived smaller version of the Power Mac, an earlier iteration of the Mac Pro.”
Apple will bring a more affordable external monitor to the market, too -- one designed for consumers, rather than professionals. It won’t include the same brightness or contrast ratio as the Pro Display XDR, but it won’t ship with the same $5,000 price tag, either.