Tech insiders claim that prototypes have been generated for two different concepts.
By Nafisa Singhsachathet
The first rumours hinting at the possibility of a foldable iPhone design emerged in 2016 when it was reported that LG was going to be mass producing foldable displays for smartphones and then supplying them to major companies, one of which was said to be Apple. This buzz continued well into last year when reports emerged that Apple filed for several patents that would suggest they’re developing foldable smartphone designs.
According to Business Insider, the company filed a patent for foldable smarphone hinges that would sit under the screen, as well as a patent for a “foldable electronic device with exposed display regions.” The latter patent included drawings of potential foldable phone screens. This week, rumours reemerged with tech fans claiming that Apple has now generated prototypes for a ‘foldable model.’ According to Bloomberg and Economic Daily News, Apple is working on two foldable iPhones, both featuring entirely different designs and features.
One seemingly takes inspiration from Microsoft’s Surface Duo, which is a dual-screen model connected by a centre hinge, while the other takes inspiration from once-popular flip phones, transforming them into a more modern design that allows for incredible portability. Rumours suggest that although these prototypes have passed internal testing for factors like durability, they remain in their early stages and will not yet progress to a full device.
In terms of what to expect from the company’s 2021 models, it’s reported that Apple may be reinstating fingerprint-scanning touch ID in their newer phones. This technology had been somewhat replaced by facial recognition in recent models, but may see a comeback as a more developed, inscreen variation.
Should Apple decide to launch a foldable iPhone in the near future, the brand would join a list of competitors who’ve just launched similar models, including the Galaxy Z Fold 2 from Samsung and the LG Rollable so it remains to be seen whether the brand will choose to enter this new market.