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Apple said to be working behind the scenes on foldable iPhones

By Kenny Yeo - on 8 Feb 2024, 9:30am

Apple said to be working behind the scenes on foldable iPhones

(Image source: 9to5 Mac)

Apple doesn't make a folding iPhone but that doesn't mean they aren't working on one. According to reports, Apple has been working on a folding iPhone since 2018 and is currently working on at least two "active prototypes" that have a clamshell folding mechanism – just like Samsung's Galaxy ZFlip.

However, the folding iPhone is said to be in early development and won't be launching anytime soon. In fact, the earliest that Apple could launch a folding iPhone is said to be 2026.

That's because Apple has problems meeting its design goals. Apple's initial goal was reportedly to be for the folding iPhone to be no thicker than current models when it is shut. They would ideally want a display on the outside too so that users can see notifications and so on when the main display is closed. However, such a design has proved to be challenging. 

This means the folding iPhone would need to be around 8.25mm when it's folded. To give that number some context, consider that the Galaxy ZFlip 5 is 15.1mm when folded, and the Oppo N2 Flip is 16mm thick when folded. It's easy to see why Apple is facing development issues.

These challenges have led Apple to pause work on the folding iPhone in 2020 and work on a folding iPad instead. Reports say Apple has a folding iPad in the works that is roughly the size of an iPad mini and would have an 8-inch display.

Not only would a folding iPad give Apple more space to work with, but it would also have less stringent durability requirements than a phone. That said, recent rumours say the earliest Apple would launch a folding iPad could also be 2026. So no matter which way you look at it, it's safe to say that we won't be seeing any kind of folding Apple device soon.

Source: The Information via 9to5 Mac

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