The iPhone Flip could be Apple’s first foldable phone. Here’s what we know so far. We haven’t heard any speculations or information concerning the so-called iPhone Flip in a long time.
Meanwhile, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro have been released. However, none of the four new versions can bend in half as we wish. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4, as well as other foldable phones, have recently arrived, delivering the latest in-bending smartphone features. However, there have been no additional hints as to what form Apple’s rumored foldable phone would take for some time.
Nonetheless, Apple foldable phone patents and concept designs from independent designers show that the iPhone Flip/Fold can help Apple build a name for itself.
So, in this iPhone Flip guide, we’ve assembled the latest speculations and concepts. We hope to get a better view of what will undoubtedly be the most revolutionary iPhone when it ultimately hits the market.
iPhone Flip Release Date Speculation
The iPhone Flip’s release date is unknown, but the most recent rumors point to a 2023 or 2024 release.
Display analyst Ross Young, who has a track record of being spot on with such predictions, has suggested that Apple may release a foldable iPhone next year. Similarly, he stated that 2024 is most likely the year for such a device to be released.
However, according to Ming-Chi Kuo, a foldable iPhone may not be available until 2025. However, another analyst, Ben Wood, predicts that a foldable iPad will be available.
iPhone Flip Design: What will it look like?
According to Jon Prosser, Apple has tested two types of iPhone Flip: a fold-out hybrid tablet design similar to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold lineup and a clamshell flip phone design similar to the Galaxy Z Flip lineup. According to those sources, Apple will proceed with the clamshell design while it is still early in development, and things could change.
Patent filings also disclose some things Apple may be thinking about with its foldable, such as any future devices that may forego the clamshell form in favor of something else.
Another Apple patent was discovered in 2020, outlining a “joint operation mode” that would allow a single-screen gadget to be complemented by a magnetically-connected secondary display. In theory, this mode would allow independent devices to connect to form a single shared space, which is unrelated to the concept of a single foldable display. It resembles the Microsoft Surface Duo 2 more than the Samsung Galaxy Fold.
Another patent, discovered by PatentlyApple and initially filed in the second quarter of 2018, displays a smartphone with a flexible display that folds closed while leaving a tiny strip at the bottom exposed for quick access to notifications and contextual information. Consider it a small Touch Bar, similar to those seen on the MacBook Pro M2 and prior MacBook models.
If we look back beyond 2020, we can discover previous speculations on foldable designs from Apple, including a patent for a tri-folding display. If we go back even further, we can see one of the first foldable iPhone patents, courtesy of MacRumors, illustrating a vertically-folding handset similar in orientation to the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Motorola Razr.
Apple has received two patents covering robust folding displays as well as a foldable screen with textured flexible portions. Because those patents do not specify a phone, Apple could be considering a foldable tablet.
All of this stimulates the imaginations of designers, who upload concept representations of possible iPhone Flip/Fold designs. Take, for example, this 3D model shared by the YouTube account #iOS beta news, which appears to be a Galaxy Z Flip knockoff, right down to the tiny bezels, centrally-positioned hole-punch camera cutout, minimum external display, and vertical orientation. It’s a design we could see Apple launching, albeit with more fine-tuning than the initial notion displayed here.
LetsGoDigital’s alternative iPhone Flip concept design includes a reduced notch, an external cover display, and a folding screen.
ConceptsiPhone has also released a video of an iPhone Flip concept (opens in new tab) that resembles an Apple version of the Galaxy Z Flip 3. It has a lower notch than the iPhone 14 (but no Dynamic Island like the iPhone 14 Pro), a 120Hz display, and a Touch ID sensor built into the screen. It also has an M1 chip, which sounds a little far-fetched, but given that Apple now employs M1 silicon in the iPad Pro and iPad Air, perhaps we will see it in a high-end phone instead of the typical A-series CPU in the future.
Antonio De Rosa, another designer, tweeted photographs of a foldable iPhone that incorporates components of the Galaxy Z Flip, such as an exterior notification screen, while retaining certain characteristic iPhone touches. Flat sides, an iPhone 13 Pro-style camera array, and — as a nod to Apple’s speculated future iPhone plans — no notch or Dynamic Island are among them.
Cupertino won’t be able to go alone when Apple’s first foldable iPhone is released. Over the previous three years, we’ve heard conflicting rumors that Apple is in talks with both LG and Samsung to supply the flexible panels for whatever gadget it eventually launches. According to Korean media (via MacRumors), in March 2019, Samsung Display gave Apple panel samples for analysis.
But what if Apple used a dual-panel method like the Surface Duo instead of a flexible display for its first folding iPhone? That’s a notion raised by Front Page Tech’s Jon Prosser, who claims Cupertino has prototyped such a device. According to Prosser, this gadget preserves the rounded design of the iPhone 11 — remember, the iPhone 12 reintroduced flat edges to Apple’s lineup — but contains a hinge, and the two distinct screens merge together quite neatly when outstretched.
iPhone Flip Display
According to Ming-Chi Kuo, the first foldable iPhone would have an 8-inch display. That is larger than the Galaxy Z Fold 4, which has a 7.6-inch display when opened. An 8-inch display would also be nearly as huge as the iPad mini’s 8.3-inch panel.
According to another story, Apple is collaborating with LG on a 7.5-inch OLED foldable display panel.
According to another Kuo rumor, Apple is testing a 9-inch display for a foldable device. That would dwarf any foldable phone now on the market.
According to Kuo, Apple is considering utilizing color e-ink screens for the external display foldable. This screen would not be as responsive as an LCD or OLED panel, but it would be ideal for reducing power consumption.
iPhone Flip: Durability
In October 2020, we noticed a patent that showed the iPhone Flip might come with Apple updated version of the iPhone’s ceramic shield. It would be four layers thick and specifically developed for a flexible display, with a cover layer, a hard coat layer, an inner surface, and a transparent support layer. The support layer could be composed of glass or sapphire for further strength.
There’s even talk that the display might “repair” itself, thanks to a “self-healing material” layer that reduces the appearance of scratches and dents.
Of course, there is no assurance that Apple would release such a device. Still, Prosser’s research serves as a reminder of the several possible outcomes for the company’s first foldable phone. Even though flexible panels are currently all the rage, dual-screen hardware may ultimately prevail if Apple isn’t impressed with the dependability, pricing, or longevity of a product with a single, folding screen.
According to a patent filed by Apple in February 2020, the foldable display might bend in the middle without putting too much strain on the surface. The screen would bend inside the hinge, making more of a soft curve than a sharp crease. A design like this is hoped to increase the display’s resilience and lengthen its lifespan. It’s important to note that the Galaxy Z Flip features a somewhat similar design.
With the aid of a crack-resistant display, Apple has since filed a continuation patent that describes how to make the iPhone Flip more robust.
iPhone Flip: The Competition
If the iPhone Flip does not arrive until 2023, Apple will undoubtedly give its competitors an early start in the foldable phone market. Samsung is now on its third version of the Galaxy Z Fold, and there’s a new Galaxy Z Flip as well — those phones have reportedly sold very well, and price may have played a role; the Galaxy Z Flip 3 was the first foldable phone to be available for less than $1,000, and the Z Flip 4 has kept the price stable.
There’s also a redesigned Motorola Razr, which offers numerous improvements over the original, mediocre foldable. However, it is only available in China, which means that other China-only foldable such as the Oppo Find N and the Honor Magic V, aren’t competitors, no matter how fantastic they are.
Google was said to be working on a Pixel Fold, expected to come much ahead of anything Apple had planned. While one source stated Google was abandoning the Pixel Fold, subsequent reports say the phone is still in the works, with a release date of the end of 2022. We’ll have to wait and see if anyone other than Samsung can succeed with foldable phones.
Apple has rarely been first to market with its major products, only releasing gadgets such as the iPod, iPhone, and iPad when it believes it has solved the weaknesses of competing devices. With the iPhone Flip, the business may use a similar approach.
iPhone Flip price: What would it cost?
This question is the hardest to answer because neither price nor the few foldable iPhone rumors that exist have ever mentioned it. This indicates that the iPhone Flip will arrive later than expected and that much will rely on how Apple approaches the design.
Consider that the Galaxy Fold, which debuted at $1,980, has a 7.3-inch tablet-like display when unfurled and a tiny 4.6-inch panel on the exterior. Six months later, for $600 less, the Galaxy Z Flip was released with a more vertically-proportioned 6.7-inch screen encased in Ultra-Thin Glass for enhanced durability. The pricing disparity has been maintained with the most current Galaxy foldable, with the Z Fold 4 costing $1,799 at launch and the Z Flip 4 costing only $999.
If Apple chooses, a smaller and less expensive foldable, the phone’s pricing may not be far off from premium handsets such as the $1,099 iPhone 14 Pro Max. However, if the foldable iPhone is designed to be a phone that can also function as a tablet like the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is, the price may easily exceed that of Apple’s more traditional devices.
iPhone Flip Outlook
We still don’t know much about Apple’s foldable iPhone ambitions. Still, one thing is certain: Whatever approach Apple adopts in producing its first foldable phone will most certainly determine the industry’s destiny.
Samsung may have been the first to market with a foldable phone with the Galaxy Fold, but the company is still experimenting with other form factors in order to figure out what phone buyers really want.
Apple has a history of ushering in substantial changes in the mobile market with each release: the removal of the headphone port, the elimination of bezels, and the adoption of the notch are all trends that began with iPhones. Although 5G handsets are more prevalent than ever, the iPhone 12 in 2020 is expected to be most people’s first introduction to 5G.
Finally, the future of foldable technology and the smartphone industry depends on how Apple tackles the goal of a foldable iPhone.
Is iPhone coming out with a flip?
In May 2021, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that “Apple will likely unveil a foldable iPhone with an 8-inch QHD Plus flexible OLED display in 2023,” as reported by MacRumors. In an April tweet, he altered his estimate, saying it could be 2025 before Apple releases a foldable screen tablet.
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