For years there were rumours that Apple was working on a foldable iPhone thanks to a number of foldable phone patents filed by the Cupertino company. So far, nothing has come of those patents. Now, a report from the Economic Daily claims that Apple has sent a number of foldable iPhones prototype to its assembly partner Foxconn for testing purposes.
The Economic Daily News said that the tests requested by Apple, involved evaluating the use of OLED or Micro LED display technology for the first foldable iPhone screen. The report noted that the choice of either screen technology is important as it would affect the subsequent assembly method.
It was also said that Apple asked Foxconn to ensure the bearings (the folding component) of the foldable device can withstand 100,000 opening and closing actions. To put that into context, similar tests are conducted on laptop computers, requiring them to be opened and closed between 20,000 and 30,000 times.
Given how often we unlock our smartphone in a day, it is no surprise that Apple is demanding more stringent testing for its first foldable device. Even Samsung’s first foldable smartphone has gone through extensive reliability tests with the South Korean phone maker claiming the Galaxy Fold was tested to last 200,000 folds and unfolds.
Apart from that, the report offers no additional information on the design of the foldable device from Apple. It did however note that Samsung would be providing the panel for the screen. This potentially corroborates rumours that Apple has ordered foldable display samples from the South Korean company.
The report states that if all goes according to plan, this might result in the delivery of a foldable iPhone by September 2022. Still, it is worth noting that Apple routinely tests out prototypes for products that never get released, so until then, we shall see if these rumours actually pan out.
So, what could the new foldable iPhone look like? Dependable leaker Jon Prosser stated several months ago that Apple is working on a foldable iPhone prototype that would feature two separate display panels that are connected by a hinge instead of a single display like the Samsung Galaxy Fold.
He said that the foldable iPhone would have a rounded, stainless steel edge similar to the iPhone 11 and will not have a notch. Instead, it would have a “tiny forehead” on the outer display that would be used for Face ID.
What do you think? Does the thought of a foldable iPhone excite you? Is Apple late to the game considering that Samsung has beat them to market and has already released three foldable devices to date? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.