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.
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This report (opens in new tab) (via 9 to 5 Mac (opens in new tab)) 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…