Apple to test new FOLDING iPhones that could arrive in 2022

Folding iPhone
(Image credit: 9 to 5 Mac)

With the news that Apple is currently working on a folding iPhone, it seems foldable phones is a trend that's definitely here to stay. We were already aware that the concept of a folding iPhone was something that Apple was looking into, as it had filed a few different folding phone patents. However, tech companies will often scattergun patents as part of their R&D process – and it doesn't necessarily mean that we'll see the fruits of their labor come to the market.

However, it does seem that a folding iPhone might just make the cut. A report from Economic Daily has claimed that Apple is being sent samples of folding phone from its Chinese suppliers, which include Foxconn and Nippon Nippon. 

• Read more: iPhone 12 Pro review

This report (via 9 to 5 Mac) claims that Apple will be testing the sample devices to see how the screen and hinges stand up to more than 100,000 fold operations. "Apple requires Taiwan's supply chain to send samples for testing, including Hon Hai (Foxconn) and Nippon Nippon, which are both partners that Apple relies on for its first folding iPhone."

Apparently, the folding tests for laptop hinges tends to range between 20,000 to 50,000, depending on how high end the laptop is. However, the test for phones requires over 100,000, which is likely due to the smaller size of the hinge and the greater amount of use that it will see during its lifetime. 

The report also goes on to speculate that Apple hasn't yet decided what kind of screen the new folding iPhones will use – OLED or microLED screens. If Apple decided to go for microLED, that would make this folding iPhone even more exciting, as it's a next-generation display technology that is said to offer greater levels of brightness, color saturation and power efficiency. 

If a folding iPhone does indeed make it to market, we can be pretty certain that we won't see it do so for quite a while yet. It's extremely unlikely that we'll see a September 2021 release, so we're placing our bets on a particularly exciting September 2022…

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Louise Carey

With over a decade of photographic experience, Louise arms Digital Camera World with a wealth of knowledge on photographic technique and know-how – something at which she is so adept that she's delivered workshops for the likes of ITV and Sue Ryder. Louise also brings years of experience as both a web and print journalist, having served as features editor for Practical Photography magazine and contributing photography tutorials and camera analysis to titles including Digital Camera Magazine and  Digital Photographer. Louise currently shoots with the Fujifilm X-T200 and the Nikon D800, capturing self-portraits and still life images, and is DCW's ecommerce editor, meaning that she knows good camera, lens and laptop deals when she sees them.