This story is part of , our full coverage of the latest news from Apple headquarters.
Apple’s next smartphone, said to be, will debut during the tech giant’s event on Sept. 14. The is expected to be a noteworthy upgrade from Apple’s earlier iPhones with new , an updated and upped . (Here’s how the rumored iPhone 13 ). Although we could see the iPhone 13 soon, Apple may also have interesting plans for a foldable iPhone rumored to be called the iPhone Flip in the future.
We won’t see the iPhone Flip for another two to three years, according to gossip from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, so it probably won’t make an appearance at . But, that hasn’t stopped the buzz about the possibility of a foldable iPhone.
While competitors have released various foldable handsets one by one — Samsung’s bendy, , and clamshell and (here’s how ), and the reboot of the , to name a few — Apple has been slower to market. This may be a smart move, since .
We’ve been following reports of a foldable iPhone for years.that a foldable iPhone could be coming in the futuristic-sounding year 2020. Obviously, that didn’t happen. Analysts and leakers have kicked the release date down the road ever since, and have simmered ever since. Here’s everything we know so far.
Release date: The iPhone Flip launch is a moving target
It’s no secret Apple has its sights set on a foldable iPhone. The company has been registering patents for foldable mechanisms and devices for almost a decade now with no launch date in sight. The question is whether any of them will ever see the light of day, and if so, when?
via MacRumors) suggests , if it ever happens. According to Kuo, Apple still needs to figure out technology and mass production issues before bringing a device like this to market, hence the two-year wait.as a potential target date, but a report from longtime Apple analyst Ming Chi Kuo (
Speculation from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman aligns with Kuo’s predictions. In his Power On Newsletter, Gurman says that the foldable iPhone may not arrive for another two to three years.
Design: What will the foldable iPhone look like?
The 2023 timeline would match up with a report from Bloomberg earlier this year that indicated Apple already has a working . While it’s not yet a working model, it’s a step up from a patent which, until then, was all we had seen.
Apple seems to have taken out every patent under the sun when it comes to foldable displays, including an origami-style folding display, a flip-up display and even a wraparound display. And while we don’t know which one will make the final cut, both Kuo and Bloomberg seem to agree that the current prototype is more of a traditional foldout design that would open up to a 7.5- or.
Unlike, which has the hinges on the exterior, Apple’s would have one continuous display with a hidden hinge mechanism like the Galaxy Fold.
However, Apple leaker Jon Prosser reported in early 2021 that the iPhone Flip will likely use a clamshell design and come in several “fun colors.” Between the flashy and the rumored (or just longed-for) , an array of fun colors for Apple’s first foldable device is definitely a possibility.
YouTuber ConceptsiPhone also gave us a glimpse into what the iPhone Flip could look with concept art of the foldable iPhone in the colors blue, red, gold and green.
Roadblocks: What still stands in Apple’s way?
While Samsung and others have been testing the waters, Apple has been learning from the pain points of their foldable devices and figuring out how they’d be used.
Corning, Apple’s glass provider, to create some kind of bendable version of its . The company is already working on a bendable glass, but hasn’t announced a launch date for it.. A lot of the current cover materials, including the glass and plastic mix that Samsung uses for the Z Fold and Z Flip, show a visible crease when folded out to full screen. To avoid it, Apple would likely have to wait for
Cost: Foldable phones don’t come cheap
Price is another major problem for these types of devices. Although Samsungphones, its previous model, the Fold 2, cost $2,000 which is over twice the price of Samsung’s other flagship phones. And, a foldable iPhone wouldn’t be any cheaper. Apple’s foldable needs to be in line with current foldable and nonfoldable models to be able to compete against other brands and entice iPhone users to ditch their single-screen devices and pay more for a foldable.
A report in April found that, though Apple customers are slightly less willing to make the leap than Samsung or LG users. But perhaps the “ ” will change those stats if and when a foldable iPhone ever becomes reality.