The iPhone 13 isn't even released yet, but now comes word that Apple may be working on not one but two foldable smartphones that are expected to debut in 2023. That’s according to a new report in Business Korea (opens in new tab), which also suggests that Apple could be collaborating with LG on a 7.5-inch OLED foldable display panel.
The source also claimed that the two foldables could mimic the concept of Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 3 and the Galaxy Z Fold 3, meaning that one of the devices could feature a clamshell design, while the other could be a convertible-phablet. There is no mention of the possible names for Apple’s potential foldables, though many refer to one of the devices as the iPhone Flip. Although, according to DSCC, an iPhone flip launch date might not hit until 2023 at the earliest.
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As of right now, Samsung is producing some of the best foldable phones on the market, thanks to the recently released Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Galaxy Z Flip 3. What’s interesting is that Business Korea’s article also references an industry insider, who firmly believes that “Apple will not be able to lead the foldable smartphone market for a while with the market being led by Samsung Electronics and Chinese manufacturers such as Huawei and Xiaomi releasing such products.”
And while Samsung already beat Apple on releasing its first foldable device three years ago, it’s not exactly unreasonable that Cupertino’s taking its time with the alleged iPhone Flip.
Apple is known for taking longer than its rivals in adopting new features and entering new categories. In fact, a survey from YouGov (opens in new tab) revealed that even Apple customers are less thrilled by the idea of purchasing a foldable smartphone at the moment. This, obviously, could change with the reveal of Apple’s foldable devices.
However, these foldables could be a couple of years away. Apart from Business Korea, we’ve seen more than a few reports from reliable Apple tipsters such as Ming-Chi Kuo and Mark Gurman claiming that an iPhone Flip or foldable iPhone announcement won’t come until 2023. But the one thing that sets this report apart from the others is Apple’s alleged collaboration with LG.
Other sources have previously speculated that Apple could be working with Samsung Display instead. And seeing as LG has just recently developed a new flexible material that folds both ways and doesn’t leave creases, we’re curious to see if some (or any of it) will be implemented into Apple’s potential foldable.
At this stage, not much is known about the potential design, specs and features of the devices. However, some of the previous patent filings and leaks give us a slight idea as to what to expect. Known leaker Jon Prosser of FrontPageTech previously shared that Apple's allegedly upcoming foldable "isn't really a foldable."
"The current prototype has two separate display panels on a hinge. Round, stainless steel edges like current iPhone 11 design. No notch — tiny forehead on outer display that houses Face ID," the leaker explained.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also speculated that Apple's first foldable smartphone could get a very large 8-inch display. For reference, that would be larger than Samsung's 7.6-inch Galaxy Z Fold 3 and just a tad smaller than the newly introduced iPad mini 6.
Be sure to bookmark or iPhone Flip page for all of the latest Apple foldable phone news as we inch towards a potential launch.