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Apple’s first foldable iPhone tipped to launch in 2020, could double as a tablet

Published Mar 23rd, 2018 11:44AM EDT
Foldable iPhone Release Date

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Samsung is currently the most vocal company when it comes to foldable smartphone designs, but the Korean giant has repeatedly made it clear that it is not quite ready to launch the highly-anticipated foldable Galaxy X yet.

That doesn’t mean Samsung is the only smartphone maker designing such a device though. ZTE’s Axon M is one example that comes to mind, and while it’s not for everyone, it is on the market. But Apple has foldable iPhone plans of its own, and some people seem to think the first foldable iOS device will arrive in 2020.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a note to investors this week seen by CNBC that Apple is currently developing a foldable iPhone X with its Asian partners that would also double as an iPad.

“We expect the iPhones this fall to be largely unchanged for the OLED versions although size changes have proved to be a catalyst in the past,” analyst Wamsi Mohan said. “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.”

A report last year said that Apple chose LG Display to go forward with its foldable iPhone plans rather than Samsung so that its biggest rival in the smartphone business would not catch wind of Apple’s designs. Apple also has some patents that describe novel iPhone designs, including devices with foldable screens and curved, wraparound displays.

This year, Apple is rumored to be launching three iPhone X successors, including two differently-sized OLED handsets, and an LCD device. All three phones are expected to feature the same design as the iPhone X.

The Galaxy X, meanwhile, isn’t likely to launch this year, at least according to Samsung’s recent remarks on the matter. But Samsung’s first foldable phone might hit stores before Apple’s foldable iPhone X successor.

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.