Rumor: Apple Testing Several Foldable iPhone Prototypes, but Worried about Display Technology, Market Longevity

BY Chandraveer Mathur

Published 6 Jan 2022

Foldable iPhone

Reputed leaker @dylandkt on Twitter claims that Apple is currently experimenting with several foldable iPhone prototypes. However, the product may not come to the consumers soon because it is worried about the underlying foldable display technology and the potential market for smartphones with the unique form factor.

In a series of tweets, the leaker said that Apple is developing a device for launch in the future, but the foldable display technology hasn’t caught up to facilitate it. The company would have to compromise on too many fronts in the transition from an OLED to a plastic screen that folds.

Apple wants to confirm the folding design isn’t a regression from the current design. Apple’s concerns aren’t unfounded because foldable phones feature more moving parts, which are essentially points of failure. Also, the displays are subject to wear and may not hold up as long as conventional smartphones. So, Apple is carefully observing the market for foldable smartphones to ensure that if and when it enters the fray, it has a fighting chance. The iPhone maker is also concerned that foldable phones will become obsolete when it launches its offering.

Previous rumors about a folding iPhone claimed that Apple expects to ship around 15 to 20 million units in 2023, and Samsung would supply the foldable’s display. In May last year reputed Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that the foldable iPhone would have a screen size of 7.5 to 8 inches. He added that the company would have the competitive advantage with the first foldable iPhone, thanks to a robust “cross-product ecosystem.” At the time, he said that foldable smartphones mainly integrate a smartphone and a tablet but “the foldable smartphone is only one of the applications of the foldable design.” “We predict that foldable devices will blur the product segmentations between smartphones, tablets, and laptops in the future,” he added. Kuo was also confident that Apple would have a distinct advantage with its hardware design.

In summary, Dylandkt suggests that Apple will wait and watch for a while longer before launching a foldable iPhone. Do you think it will launch a foldable? If yes, what are your expectations? Share your thoughts with our readers in the comments section below.