Apple is working on a radical new iPhone with a foldable screen that doubles as a tablet. That's according to a report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which says that several Apple suppliers in Asia have confirmed they're working on a such a product. A foldable iPhone could even be coming as soon as 2020, the analysts said. Pictured is a prototype folding iPhone that was revealed in a patent filed by Apple last November. The patent describes a device that can be'opened and closed like a book' 'We expect the iPhones this fall to be largely unchanged for the organic LED versions although size changes have proved to be a catalyst in the past,' Bank of America analyst Wamsi Mohan wrote in a report on Friday.
Now that Samsung has finally taken the wraps off its $2,000 Galaxy Fold, the Korean tech giant is reportedly eyeing a new opportunity to boost its display business with Apple. A foldable Android tablet could be a winner for Samsung if the concept takes off in the way the Galaxy Note spawned an entire new category of bigger-screen but still pocketable devices. The company right now certainly needs some of its products to pop among its diverse business, which includes memory, displays, and smartphones – none of which is performing well at the moment, partly due to supplies to Apple's stalling iPhone business. But, as spotted by MacRumors, Korean news outlet ETNews has heard reports that Samsung Display thinks there could be a chance to capitalize on Apple's growing iPad line. According to the report, Samsung Display presented Apple a foldable display device that was slightly smaller than the Galaxy Fold.
A report from The Bell (via Korea's The Investor) claims Apple has created a "task force" to create a foldable screen, possibly for a future iPhone. The bendable screen is reportedly an OLED screen (the same kind of display technology that Apple will debut on the iPhone X). The report says LG developed a foldable OLED display prototype years ago and is working on improving yield rates. The first part is certainly true (OLED manufacturers like LG have shown off foldable displays for at least a decade), and a foldable screen is every bit as futuristic as it sounds. It could mean a phone that'll fit in your pocket, but expands open into a larger display when unfolded.
Apple's iPhone X introduced the very first iPhone model to come with a bezel-less design, but the iPhone of the future might also be foldable. A new report claims that Apple is already working on a new foldable iPhone alongside LG, and it could be ready by 2020. The Bell (via The Investor) reports that LG Display has been tasked by Apple to create a foldable screen for a new iPhone model. Meanwhile, LG Innotek has already formed a new team that will be developing a rigid flexible printed circuit board for the device. An unnamed industry source claims production on the new foldable OLED display for the foldable iPhone could start in 2020.
If you want to buy a foldable phone right now, you should check out the ZTE Axon M (above). Unfortunately it happens to be one of the ugliest phones the world has ever seen. Samsung may be the first company to launch a foldable phone that's truly exciting, although we haven't seen any design leaks just yet. Samsung proved it can design good-looking smartphones, so there's hope that the Galaxy X will look a lot better than the Axon M. What we do know so far is that Samsung already confirmed the existence of the handset, which may soon see a limited release.