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The foldable iPhone is real

Published Aug 24th, 2020 11:24AM EDT

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  • The first foldable iPhone might not feature a foldable screen, as is the case with some of the existing foldable Android handsets out there.
  • A leaker claims that Apple is already testing a folding iPhone that features a dual-display design with a fabric hinge.
  • The internal display on the prototype does not have a notch since the Face ID components are located on the outside of the handset.

Samsung may be the company you’d associate with foldable phones right now, given that the Korean smartphone manufacturer has been teasing the technology for years before the first-gen Galaxy Fold was released last year. But Samsung isn’t the only company developing foldable phones. Huawei and Motorola have already launched their first foldable handsets, and other Chinese smartphone makers have showcased foldable concepts of their own. Even Microsoft has started selling an Android foldable, although the handset is more of a dual-screen device than a true foldable. Apple is also developing foldable handset technology of its own, and we don’t need leakers to know that. Foldable devices will get a lot better in the future, and Apple won’t want to miss out. Not to mention that Apple has already patented tech intended for use in foldable smartphones. But add a well-connected leaker to the mix, and you end up with exciting foldable iPhone news that will definitely be of interest to Apple fans.

YouTuber Jon Prosser turned into a prolific leaker earlier this year when he delivered news about unreleased products from various companies. But his main focus became Apple and the iPhone. Prosser proved he had some access to sources familiar with Apple plans and leaked multiple details about the iPhone SE before the handset was launched. He nailed the price and release date of the phone and revealed other Apple plans as well. He has covered the iPhone 12 series extensively, revealing the purported specs and prices for the four models, as well as the expected release date.

Prosser has now addressed the foldable iPhone during his latest YouTube video, after featuring a viral foldable iPhone concept video during the show. That clip may have been a fan-made concept, but Prosser says the foldable iPhone project is real. It’s unclear when Apple might go ahead and launch the prototype that Prosser went on to detail, or any other foldable handset. The leaker first addressed the foldable iPhone a few months ago, but now he has more information about it.

He said the foldable iPhone is real, but it’s not the foldable device many people want. He said the prototype Apple is working on has “like a fabric hinge” and it has two separate displays inside. The fabric hinge would keep out debris and would be more durable than current foldable handsets. The screen itself can’t bend or fold, so it’s not a device like the Galaxy Fold. But when opened, the phone would supposedly look like it has a single continuous screen rather than two panels sitting side by side.

Apple’s prototype has stainless steel edges like the iPhone 11 and there’s no notch on the internal part of the screen. Instead, Prosser says there’s a secondary external display with a tiny “forehead” where the Face ID components are found. From the looks of it, the foldable iPhone would be of the iPhone Flip variety — a clamshell handset like Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip as opposed to a vertical folding device.

No matter how accurate Prosser may have been in the past, there’s no way to verify the information at this time. Apple doesn’t usually share details about devices that are just in prototyping phases like other tech companies do, so there’s no guarantee the first Apple foldable handset will end up looking anything like Prosser claims. The full video follows below, with the part about the foldable iPhone starting around the 6:22 mark.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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