If you’re on the street for a random survey – should Apple launch a foldable iPhone – you will often come back with answers affirmative as expected. The foldable phone market has matured since the niggly launches of Samsung’s first foldable and Motorola RAZR. Phones unveiled in 2020 have less weak displays, bendable screens do not crease, hinges are better sealed against dust and water, and the handsets work themselves up to be as durable as our regular smartphones.
Samsung is definitely leading the pack with foldable smartphones that can be opened or unfolded like a book to offer a tablet-like display in phone form. Koreans along with the other companies – Motorola, Huawei and others experimenting with the possibility – have understood the fact that a phone that folds must do this for a purpose, which is not enough to provide folding phones because they are on the go.
Apple is watching all the transformation happen from the sidelines. There have been hints from Apple that toy around the possibility of its own foldable phone, but nothing substantial has ever made to the mainframe. Apple has filed a few patent applications and many mockups of what a foldable iPhone might look like the tech site; However, we are waiting for a folding iPhone, which if the latest reports are anything to go by, will not come to fruition before September of 2022.
The first Apple patent for a phone that folds was seen in 2016. A year later, there was some more movement supported by a number of intriguing patents, but the Cupertino giant is completely secretive about the progress it has made in all these years. It is carefully weighing the options, while OEMs operate and fix issues in their devices.
Folding telephone technology is closed closer to a full-proof state where larger issues like durability and battery life are resolved and people can use the folding devices as their daily driver. If you get a foldable phone with Apple Bend the height of design and precision sounds exciting. Apple’s ability to deliver products whose designs have an impact on the industry – as in the case of iPods, iPads, and undoubtedly since the release of the first iPhone in 2007
Only a countable number of foldable phones have been widely released, and companies are still fine-tuning their offerings to yellow with the demand of the consumers. In such a scenario; Apple, which can be ridiculed for chasing other monikers from two blocks behind, has an open ground in front of it. A device with Apple’s polish will create a niche for itself – because Apple has done a part of R & D to cook the ideal recipe for a folding phone.
Unapologetically, Apple has considered taking time before releasing its own devices, especially in case of adopting new technologies for the iPhone for example the face unlocking or wireless charging. It’s no surprise that a foldable iPhone – flip or fold, as it would be called – has not rolled out with the iPhone 12 line-up this year, and there is no possibility of seeing it with the iPhone 13 next year – but It is inevitable.
Motorola, Huawei and Samsung have been different styles of folding phones in the market. Apple has also proposed a foldable phone – through patent application – with hinges that can fold in half or in thirds. The patent may not clearly state that the technology is for use in a phone – but it is “it would be desirable for use in flexible displays” – easy to guess what Apple is hinting at.
Apple has also proposed a different spin to the foldable phones with self-healing skins for such devices. LG introduced the concept of a heeled rear cover that can fix minor abrasions in a very nascent stage in its G Flex phablet, but the technology never really started. Apple’s application is no indication that it works on a foldable phone with a ‘self-healing elastomer’ body, but if it is, it is not looking back.
These are all possibilities – let’s just cut the chase and understand what it’s really on the cards. What Apple really does to ensure that we do not just expect too much in terms of a folding iPhone. Reportedly, the concept of a folding iPhone has finally grown beyond the drawing board and is trying.
According to a Taiwanese media outlet citing sources of supply, Apple has actively begun testing the possibility of a folding phone with flexible panels from Samsung and bearings manufactured by various suppliers. The assembly will be handled by Hon Hai which trades like Foxconn and is Apple’s long-term assembly partner. If all goes as planned, the report claims Apple will launch its first foldable iPhone in September 2022.
Apple is allegedly setting new quality standards – the folding iPhone will pass 100,000 folds in the initial testing. Laptops usually are opened and closed about 30,000 times in arms tests before the official launch. In case of phones, more repetitions are necessary because they will be opened and closed more often than laptops. Samsung, for example, has tested the Galaxy Fold over 200,000 times, a similar benchmark has been followed by LG Wing. Apple would have benchmarks pushed by the time the device is actually ready for the market.
When we realize, Apple wants to make the most refined version of the foldable phone and arrive in the market with a product that has minimum glitches in the launch. For Apple fanboys, the wait until 2022 may seem very long and painful, as many Android foldables are waiting to spout in the interim, but the odds add up to a fruitful wait.