Apple has long been rumored to be working on a foldable iPhone. Most recently leaker Jon Prosser said that Apple is indeed working on a “foldable” iPhone, but that it was still relatively far away.
Now, however, it seems that the tech giant is doubling down on its development of that said iPhone. Taiwan Economic Daily Times reports that Apple is now sending test samples of a foldable iPhone to supplier Hon Hai, more popularly known as Foxconn and New Nikko for testing. According to the report, Apple is working on specific hardware components such as the screen and the bearings of the phone in order to develop its first foldable iPhone “as soon as possible”.
The report states that Foxconn, which has been Apple’s main iPhone supplier for years will be crucial in the development of the first foldable iPhone. The report cites the “flexibility and extension” of the screens display as a pivotal piece of hardware that plays a significant role in the device, and that Foxconn can meet Apple’s standard in that regard.
A current timeframe for release remains for September of 2022, which if true would mean Apple lags significantly behind others in regards to a foldable display. Samsung has been at the forefront of foldable devices in most recent years, however, it’s yet hit mainstream adoption, and likely will not until Apple joins the pack.
The foldable iPhone would offer two separate modes, a folded and non-folded mode. It’s easy to see Apple selling the ease and convenience of switching between both modes given its “tight integration between hardware and software,” and will likely encourage developers to make more use of the added real estate.
What remains to be seen however is how Apple plans to differentiate that phone from its iPad lineup, which may cause a blurry picture between the two product families.