Apple’s first foldable phone might be the iPhone Flip. So far, here’s what we know.
The iPhone Flip isn’t currently in Apple’s plans, however, plans might change over time. It’s unclear if we’ll see a foldable iPhone this year as we enter 2022, but all indicators point to Apple wanting to compete with Samsung and others with a foldable smartphone of its own – we’ve seen the patents to prove it.
Apple’s foldable phone plans
So, no, the iPhone Flip isn’t coming out any time soon. Foldable phones, on the other hand, are still a rising section of the smartphone market. Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Z Flip 3 Bespoke Edition shortly after unveiling the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3.
On your foldable, you may mix and match colours. Microsoft’s Surface Duo 2 with twin screens is also available today. The race to produce the best foldable phone is clearly on.
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So, when will Apple enter the fray? The corporation usually holds off on releasing new items until it is confident that it can outperform the competition. (While the iPhone wasn’t the first smartphone, it certainly outperformed its predecessors.) Apple’s patents for folding phones, as well as concept designs from independent designers, imply that the iPhone Flip/Fold has a lot of potentials.
In this iPhone Flip guide, we’ve assembled the most recent reports and concepts. When it eventually does see the light of day, we hope to get a better view of what will undoubtedly be the most innovative iPhone ever.
iPhone Flip release date
Ming-Chi Kuo, an Apple analyst, predicts that the first foldable iPhone will be released in 2023. Apple is expected to sell 20 million devices in the first year, according to him.
According to a different source from Digitimes, the iPhone Flip might be released this year, but Apple leaker Jon Prosser claims that 2022 is overly optimistic and that the iPhone Flip will be released much later. A foldable iPhone, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, is two to three years away.
So, as Samsung presses forward with its foldable phone ambitions, Apple is expected to take a much slower and more conservative approach, focusing on the iPhone 14 and iPhone SE 3 launches in 2022.
Another storey from Business Korea claims that the iPhone Flip will be released in 2023, with the added twist that Apple is developing two foldable phone designs. It’s unclear whether this implies Cupertino will choose between two designs, or if it means Apple is working on two foldable phones.
As the year came to a conclusion in 2021, Display Supply Chain Consultants confirmed that a foldable iPhone would not be available until 2023 at the earliest, with 2024 seeming more plausible. In early 2022, leaker Dylandkt stated that Apple was testing a foldable iPhone but that it will not be released anytime soon.
iPhone Flip display size
According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the first foldable iPhone would have an 8-inch display. That would be bigger than the speculated Galaxy Z Fold 3 (which is expected to have a display between 7 and 7.7 inches), as well as the present iPad mini (7.9 inches).
According to another source, Apple is collaborating with LG on a 7.5-inch OLED foldable display panel.
iPhone Flip design: What will it look like?
Apple has tested two types of iPhone Flip, according to Jon Prosser: a fold-out hybrid tablet, similar to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2, and a clamshell flip phone design, similar to the Galaxy Z Flip series. According to the same sources, Apple will move on with the clamshell design, albeit it is still early in the development process, so things might change.
Patent filings also disclose some of the features Apple may be exploring for its foldable, including any future devices that don’t use the clamshell form.
Another Apple patent, detailing a “joint working mode” that would allow a single-screen device to be augmented by a magnetically-connected secondary display, was discovered in 2020. This mode, in principle, would allow separate devices to combine to form a single shared environment, but it has nothing to do with the unique folding panel concept.
It has more in common with the Microsoft Surface Duo than the Samsung Galaxy Fold.
Another patent, discovered by PatentlyApple in the second quarter of 2018, illustrates a smartphone with a flexible display that folds closed but leaves a tiny strip at the bottom accessible for quick access to notifications and contextual information. Consider it a tiny version of the Touch Bar seen on the MacBook Pro.
We may find early Apple ideas on foldable designs, including a patent for a tri-folding display, if we go beyond 2020. And, according to MacRumors, we can see one of the first foldable iPhone patents from 2016, displaying a vertically-folding device similar in position to the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and Motorola Razr.
All of this fuels the imaginations of designers who create concept representations of prospective iPhone Flip/Fold designs. Take, for example, this 3D model uploaded by #iOS beta news on YouTube, which looks a lot like a Galaxy Z Flip knockoff, right down to the narrow bezels,hole-punch camera cutout in the centre, minimal external display, and vertical orientation. It’s a design we could see Apple producing, but with some refinement beyond the crude concept shown here.
iPhone Flip concept design, this time with a smaller notch and a larger screen.reduced notch and an exterior cover display in addition to a folding screen.
A video of an iPhone Flip idea that looks a lot like an Apple version of the Galaxy Z Flip 3 was also released by ConceptsiPhone. It has a narrower notch than the iPhone 12, a 120Hz display, and a Touch ID sensor embedded in the screen.
It also has an M1 chip, which sounds a little far-fetched, but we’ll have to wait and see whether Apple sticks to its A-series naming policy for iPhones in the future.
Cupertino won’t be able to go it alone when the first foldable iPhone is released.