Apple’s first mixed reality headset, the Vision Pro, was made available in the US earlier this month. The rumour mill is now buzzing with details about the company’s long-rumoured foldable iPhone. The Cupertino-based tech giant is reportedly developing “at least two” iPhone prototypes that fold horizontally. The upcoming handsets could be a direct competitor to the Galaxy Z Flip 5. However, it is unclear whether the foldable phones will undergo mass production within the next couple of years.
A report by The Information, citing an internal source, claims that Apple is building prototypes of at least two clamshell-style foldable iPhone models. Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip devices have a similar display form factor that allows screens to fold horizontally. The foldable devices seem to be in the early development stage, and they are not reportedly in the company’s mass production plans for 2024 or 2025.
Apple eyes to create a foldable iPhone with displays on the outside of the device that are visible when the device is folded shut but the engineers reportedly struggled with the design as it can break easily. Additionally, the company’s engineers want to develop a foldable that’s “as thin as current iPhone models,” but battery sizes and display components add to the thickness of the device, as per the report. Apple has reportedly approached at least one supplier in Asia for components related to two foldable iPhone models that come in different sizes.
A foldable iPad is also said to be in the pipeline. It is expected to feature the same size as the current generation iPad Mini with an 8-inch display. Apple engineers are reportedly working to narrow the crease that appears at the centre of the display. They are also said to be in the process of developing a hinge that allows the display to lie flat when unfolded.
Apple has not announced any plans to unveil an iPhone or iPad with a foldable display. Samsung currently dominates the foldable smartphone space with at least five iterations of foldable handsets. Chinese electronics maker OnePlus, Xiaomi, Vivo and Oppo have also launched foldable smartphones. There is certainly scope for Apple to challenge Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, Motorola Razr 40 Ultra, Oppo Find N3 Flip, and Tecno Phantom V Flip 5G with the rumoured clamshell iPhone