Rumors that Apple is working on a foldable iPhone – the iPhone Flip – have been circulating for months, but it appears the company is stepping up its in-house experimentation. A new leak in the Chinese social network Weibo suggests that Apple has ordered a “large number” of foldable screens from Samsung.
It is reported that the foldable displays are samples for a number of prototype designs rather than the company ramping up full production. So it would be extremely optimistic to imagine that everything will be foldable at this week’s Apple event. In fact, there is no guarantee that the company will receive a prototype that it believes is suitable for mass production.
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We don’t really know. While some upbeat concept artists have come up with an iPhone flip design, the only real evidence we have is prolific Apple leaker Jon Prosser, who said back in June that the current prototype “isn’t really foldable.”
“The current prototype has two separate display panels on a hinge,” he tweeted. “Round stainless steel edges like the current iPhone 11 design. No notch – tiny forehead on the outer display that houses face recognition. “
You might think of something like the Microsoft Surface Duo at this point, but Prosser says Apple has something smarter in mind even at the prototype stage.
“The memes are funny – but it doesn’t look like they just glued two phones together,” he continued. “Even though they’re two separate panels, the display looks pretty solid and seamless when expanded.”
pic.twitter.com/RN93E1bRGtJune 13, 2020
That doesn’t sound like an order for Samsung foldable displays, however. Maybe Apple is refining the design. Or maybe it has a whole bunch of concepts that it is working on.
A look at the Apple patent archive reveals a multitude of possible options, from designs in the book style to clamshells to scrolls that cannot be rolled. All bets are closed, which we will see in Tim Cook’s hands first, if any.
Whatever comes up in the end, don’t bet on seeing it this year. Well, not if Prosser’s sources are correct anyway.