Report: Apple evaluating foldable iPhone for a potential 2022 release

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Although Apple recently launched its first series of 5G-enabled iPhones, it is already reportedly working on a beyond next-generation handset. Economic Daily, a Chinese newspaper, states the Big Tech giant tasked its chief assembler, Foxconn, with producing and testing a flexible smartphone prototype.

The electronics manufacturer currently plans to launch its radically redesigned flagship mobile device in 2022.

Details on Apple’s Foldable Smartphone Plans

According to Economic Daily, Apple is still in the early phase of developing a foldable iPhone. That said, the company has established one standard it wants its revamped handset to meet. It told its primary assembler it wants a product that can be folded up to 100,000 times.

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Apple has teamed with Taiwanese firm Nippon Nippon to enable the foldable device’s most appealing feature. The corporation worked with the vendor to produce its laptop hinges. The manufacturer specified its affordable notebooks should be able to withstand 20,000 to 30,000 folds. It upped its threshold to 50,000 transitions for its higher-end offerings.

The Silicon Valley titan wants the foldable iPhone to withstand 100,000 folds because users will compress them more frequently than laptops. Foxconn is supposedly using its equipment to test the feature’s durability right now.

Apple is also mulling over which display technology to utilize in its future handsets.

The company reportedly tasked Samsung with making the device’s new screens, but it is torn between using two light-emitting diode (LED) types; OLED and microLED. Currently, most of the smartphone industry utilizes OLED panels in its flagship products. But microLEDs, the newer of the two technologies, offer considerably brighter displays.

Economic Daily’s article did not touch on the foldable phone’s form factor. However, in June, tech insider Jon Prosser claimed the device would feature two separate iPhone 11-style panels joined by a hinge. In addition, Apple filed a patent update in 2019 that featured three foldable handset form factor designs.

Why Apple is Planning to Launch a Foldable iPhone

Some smartphone manufacturers believe the key to success is launching new technological advances before their rivals. But Apple usually takes a different approach and waits until technological advances are fully realized before jumping on the bandwagon. For example, the corporation held off releasing a 5G iPhone until wireless carriers in its major markets began deploying their fifth-generation networks.

The new report on its embrace of foldable handset technology indicates it views the innovation as promising but immature.

Apple knows the flexible smartphone panel technology has mass-appeal. But it also sees how other providers struggled after rushing their foldable mobile devices to the marketplace. Samsung delayed its first Galaxy Fold after multiple reviewers accidentally destroyed their fragile test units. Huawei pushed back the release of its Mate X after seeing the Galaxy Fold’s ill-fated launch.

Apple has no intention of repeating its rivals’ mistakes. It likely wants to unveil and sell its foldable iPhones within its traditional launch window. To make sure its new product release goes seamlessly, it is taking the time to work out the kinks.

The corporation’s “measure twice, cut once” ethos could result in its foldable iPhone becoming the technology’s gold standard.

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