A few days after a report corroborated that Apple is considering its first foldable product, The Information says Cupertino is working on at least two foldable iPhone prototypes. According to the publication, these models would fold widthwise “like a clamshell.”
One of the benefits of a foldable iPhone would be making it smaller and more portable than typical smartphones. In addition, like Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip, you would be able to take photos without the help of a stand by unfolding it at a 90-degree angle.
The report says this foldable iPhone is in early development. Still, since a larger form-factor foldable iPad also has its own challenges, it’s unclear when any of these devices might launch.
According to Apple’s plans, the company wants to create a device that is half as thin as current iPhone models, so it isn’t too thick when folded. A screen facing outwards, such as Galaxy Z Flip, has also been considered.
The report believes Apple started this project around 2020, but it might need a few more years until it’s completed. More interestingly, Korean outlet The Elec has recently learned that Apple is considering a 2026 or 2027 release date for a foldable device that would be about the same size as the iPad Mini.
The report doesn’t call it a phone. Previous rumors said that Apple’s first foldable device might be a tablet rather than an iPhone.
The Elec points out that 2027 would mark the 20th anniversary of the iPhone and the 10th anniversary of the first iPhone with an OLED panel. The latter isn’t really a cause for celebration. The 2017 iPhone X had to be different because Apple celebrated the handset’s 10th anniversary. And the OLED screen is what allowed Apple to make an all-screen display in addition to the TrueDepth system.
However, making a foldable iPhone in 2027 to mark the iPhone’s 20th anniversary would be a big deal. Thanks to this Information report, I now think this could be Apple’s ultimate goal by once again reshaping how we use and interact with our iPhones by introducing a foldable variant.