Apple's first mixed reality headset, the Vision Pro, was made available in the US earlier this month. Now the market of rumors is hot about the company's long-discussed foldable iPhone. The Cupertino-based tech giant is reportedly developing “at least two” iPhone prototypes that fold horizontally. The upcoming handset could be a direct competitor to the Galaxy Z Flip 5. However, it is unclear whether foldable phones will be mass produced in the next few 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 the screen to be bent horizontally. The foldable devices appear to be in the early development stage, and they are reportedly not in the company's mass production plans for 2024 or 2025.
Apple is considering creating a foldable iPhone that would have a display on the outside of the device that would be visible when the device is closed but engineers reportedly struggled with the design because it could easily break. Additionally, the company's engineers want to develop a foldable that is “as thin as existing iPhone models”, but according to the report, the battery size and display components increase the thickness of the device. Apple has reportedly contacted 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 have the same size as the current generation iPad Mini with an 8-inch display. Apple engineers are reportedly working to narrow the crease visible in the center of the display. They are also said to be in the process of developing a hinge that will allow 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 sector with at least five iterations of foldable handsets. Chinese electronics manufacturers OnePlus, Xiaomi, Vivo and Oppo have also launched foldable smartphones. There is certainly scope for Apple to challenge the likes of Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, Motorola Razr 40 Ultra, Oppo Find N3 Flip and Tecno Phantom V Flip 5G with the alleged clamshell iPhone.
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