Apple's "foldable iPhone" may finally arrive in 2020: Report
Foldable smartphones are clearly the next big thing - while Samsung's foldable Galaxy X is going to launch in "a few years", latest reports claim Apple is going to release a foldable iPhone in just two years. Apple's developing an all-new design in collaboration with Asian "partners" for the foldable iPhone and release it by 2020. Here's more.
Bank of America Senior Analyst Wamsi Mohan has reportedly met with several Apple suppliers in Asia. Mohan said Apple is working with Asian suppliers on a foldable iPhone that could also be used as a tablet. The top Wall Street firm analyst also said they expect no major changes in the upcoming OLED versions of iPhones except some size changes.
"We expect the iPhones this fall to be largely unchanged for the OLED versions. Our checks also suggest that Apple is working with suppliers on a foldable phone (that potentially could double up as a tablet) for launch in 2020," said Wamsi Mohan.
In October last year, Korean media outlet "The Investor" claimed Apple and LG Display -LG's screen-making subsidiary- are jointly working on the foldable iPhone. The report also said LG Display set up a "task force" for developing bendable OLED display. LG's parts-manufacturing arm "LG Innotek" had also created a team for developing "flexible circuit boards" for such a foldable phone.
Rivalry with Samsung and concerns over specification leaks may have prompted Apple to choose LG over Samsung, which is the producer of best OLED-displays. LG Display had already completed the foldable OLED screen prototype as of Oct'17 and was upgrading its durability and yield rate at the time. Last year, there were reports that Apple would invest in LG to speed up production.
In 2016, Apple filed a patent for an unnamed device for which it was working with LG to develop the display panel. Apple's patent application "Electronic Devices With Flexible Displays", which was published in Nov'17, suggests a foldable iPhone could be in the works that can be "opened and closed like a book." The unnamed device could be related to a possible foldable iPhone.
The patent suggests the Apple device would have a flexible OLED-screen in a brand-new design and the device itself is foldable. It would have a full-screen display with a flexible area in the middle that bends to separate the screen into halves (like a book).
Apple and Samsung aren't the only tech companies working on smartphones with foldable screens as Lenovo and Huawei also joined them. While none of them actually released their foldable devices, Samsung and Lenovo demonstrated concept phones with foldable displays. Last year, Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei's consumer business group, confirmed it is developing a foldable phone at the time of Mate 10 launch.