American tech giant Apple is reportedly in the early stages of developing prototypes for clamshell-style foldable iPhones, alongside an innovative foldable iPad. According to a report by The Information, which cited anonymous sources, Apple is testing at least two foldable iPhone models.
These foldable devices are said to fold horizontally, similar to Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip models. Despite the buzz, these are unlikely to enter mass production until at least 2024 or 2025. The foldable iPhone prototypes could feature displays on the exterior of the devices, visible even when folded. This design concept, however, presents challenges in durability and the pursuit of maintaining a slim profile akin to current iPhone models. Balancing the thickness with the inclusion of necessary components such as the battery and display elements has reportedly been a challenge for Apple’s engineers.
The Cupertino-based company’s ambition does not stop at smartphones and is looking into the possibility of introducing foldable iPad. It is expected that this iPad will have an 8-inch foldable display, similar in size to that of the current generation iPad Mini.
The project’s future is yet uncertain, with possibilities of adjustments or even cancellation, if the prototypes fail to meet up to Apple’s high quality standards. Still, the company’s innovation story would take a new turn with the release of foldable technology. It will position Apple as a direct rival to manufacturers such as Samsung, Motorola, Oppo, and others, who have already entered this burgeoning market area with their current foldable smartphones.
Despite the lack of official announcements from Apple regarding the development of foldable iPhones and iPads, the industry is abuzz with anticipation. Should these devices eventually make their way to the market, they could potentially redefine user expectations and set new standards for mobile computing, blending the lines between smartphones, tablets, and the increasingly popular foldable device category.