- The latest rumors suggest that in 2023, Apple will announce its first foldable iPhone.
- A 7.3-inch to 7.6-inch OLED display and Apple Pencil support are reportedly featured on the handset.
- Recent reports said that several foldable iPhone prototypes are being tested by Apple, suggesting that a launch could still be several years away.
Samsung is right now at the forefront of the production of foldable phones, with Huawei and Motorola following behind. But everyone is working on similar devices in the industry. Although many Chinese handset manufacturers have already demonstrated foldable phone designs without actually commercially releasing any of them, others are more discreet about their foldable plans. Apple is probably the most discreet of them all, as once they are ready for mass consumption, the company never releases any new goods. Ok, unless you count AirPower, which to this day still remains vaporware.
According to several leaks as well as patent findings describing tech advances that could be used on such devices, Apple is reportedly working on its own foldable iPhone. However, as has been noted in many leaks over the past few weeks, Apple is not close to launching a foldable iPhone. Now, a recent study reports that the first foldable iPhone will not be launched until 2023 when a versatile OLED screen and Apple Pencil support will debut.
Since Apple usually releases new iPhone models in September, if this study pans out, we might seem to be looking at a release date of September 2023 for Apple’s first foldable iPhone. And the Apple Pencil, Apple’s stylus that works on many iPad models, including the iPad Pro, Air, and mini, is possibly the ‘action pen’. Although it’s unclear where Omdia got its data from, there is some sense in the statements.
Apple is rumored to be working on several foldable iPhone prototypes for instance, including a variant that looks like models from Samsung’s Galaxy Fold. That’s the kind of foldable smartphone that can deliver a display of 7.3-inch to 7.6-inch. Such a display size will put the iPhone, which has a 7.9-inch display, on par with the iPad mini. This is the smallest Apple Pencil-supported iOS unit.
For years, Apple has been rumored to be planning stylus support for the iPhone, with the first iPhones to support the stylus supposed to be among the larger Max models. Apple also patented technology to illustrate how an iPhone can work with the Pencil.
Samsung reported speculation a few weeks ago that the Note’s S Pen stylus was operating on the Galaxy S21 Ultra. The company said that the stylus would also be assisted by other Galaxy devices. The next-gen Galaxy Z Fold model could be among them, assuming a key technology can be established in time by Samsung. Initially, the Z Fold 2 was rumored to endorse the S Pen, but subsequent reports explained that the ultra-thin foldable glass (UTG) was not powerful enough for the stylus.
Apple will need to create the kind of strong glass that can withstand stylus strain, but still fold and unfold without cracking, for the foldable iPhone to support the Apple Pencil.
Also, the OLED argument makes sense. Throughout its iPhone lineup, Apple uses OLED displays, with Samsung being the screens’ leading supplier. Right now, Samsung OLED displays have the best output possible, and they are versatile so that they can be used within foldable handsets. Of course, the OLED displays used on Samsung’s foldable phones are also rendered by Samsung Display.
When it comes to Apple gossip, Omdia doesn’t have a proven track record. Any of the recent reports about foldable iPhones could just be replicated by the research organization. Latest reports have suggested that Apple is testing both foldable frames and foldable screens. Apple is said to be looking at foldable prototypes for both portraits and landscapes. Those reports said that foldable iPhones might only be a few years away.
A series of older rumors said that Apple is also creating an iPhone, similar to Microsoft’s dual-display Surface smartphone that launched last year, with two displays connected by a hinge. Technically, this is not a foldable handset, because it does not have a continuous panel that can fold. But solid glass could be used for such a system and it could support the Apple Pencil. However, that is all speculation. And Omdia specifically refers to the device as an OLED smartphone that is foldable, not a dual-screen device.