Compare and Recycle
24/04/2024

Will Apple Make an iPhone Flip Phone?

a hand holding a foldable mobile phone with a busy city in the background

Y2K nostalgia is real, from fashion and beauty trends and now coming into the technology sector. The buzz around foldable smartphones is growing, but one question remains on everyone’s lips - will there be an iPhone flip phone?  

There’s plenty of speculation about Apple's entry with a foldable or flip iPhone, and it’s certainly something the manufacturer is considering behind closed doors, particularly with the OnePlus Open, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, and Google Pixel Fold all on the market. Of course, we don’t know for sure what Apple has up its sleeve ahead of its annual September announcement, but we can look at the evidence and information available to make an educated guess.

Apple's patent activities suggest a foldable future…

A dive into Apple's patent filings reveals intriguing possibilities for the design and functionality of a future foldable iPhone. Eagle-eyed Apple fans such as PatentlyApple have noticed various patent submissions and acceptances from the tech giant, such as a patent for a foldable smartphone with a heating element to prevent cold temperature malfunctions and patents for a unique hinge mechanism to prevent screen damage and a protective layer for durability. So it certainly seems like Apple has something in the works…

However, some tech analysts believe that the concept of an Apple device with two separate displays that act as one​ may begin with the iPad before moving on to the iPhone.

What would a foldable iPhone be like?

A foldable iPhone could redefine user experience, merging a phone's convenience with a tablet's capabilities. Many consumers have both an iPhone and an iPad, but imagine the benefits of having both in one!

But what would a flip iPhone look like? Aside from the range of software enhancements necessary for a seamless foldable iPhone experience, such as potential modifications to iOS to support foldable functionality and software optimisations for multitasking, app continuity, and enhanced user interactions​, the visual aspect is also an interesting thought.

In terms of how this iPhone could look, that’s anyone’s guess, but here’s some visual ideas of what we think:

The challenges in developing a Flip iPhone

However, Apple must navigate technical and design challenges to create a foldable iPhone, such as:

Foldable smartphones currently on the market

Existing foldable smartphones are available from competitors like Samsung and Huawei. Here are some of the current foldable phones on the market:

When will Apple release a foldable iPhone?

There is much speculation about when Apple might unveil a foldable iPhone and how it fits into its broader product strategy. There are predictions for a launch date moving from 2025 to potentially 2027 or beyond, and there could be a strategic decision behind delaying the launch. As a tech giant, it’s not that Apple has many competitors; however, the importance of timing in capturing market share cannot be overstated.

There is also the very real possibility that other foldable devices, like iPads or MacBooks, will precede the foldable iPhone​​.

While the anticipation for a flip iPhone grows, the company's careful approach to innovation and quality could truly redefine the foldable smartphone industry. However, patience and innovation are crucial for both manufacturers and consumers in technology development. So all we can say for now is, let’s wait and see…

If you just can’t wait for the future foldable iPhone and want your hands on a device now, sell your old phone today to put towards the cost.

Antonia

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