Foldable iPhone leak reveals possible Galaxy Z Flip 3 killer

Foldable iPhone leaks
(Image credit: #iOS Beta News/YouTube)

It's no secret that Apple is working on a foldable iPhone or iPhone Flip, based on multiple reports and patents. And now we have some possible details about the design direction for Apple's first foldable. 

A new video posted by Apple analyst Jon Prosser, who has a mixed track record around leaks, says that Apple is testing a prototype clamshell design for the fold iPhone, which would be similar to the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

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In the video, Prosser says that Apple has two foldable iPhones in development. The first is not a true foldable in that it would feature two displays with a hinge in the center. But this new report centers on a design with a foldable display. 

Prosser claims that there are shells of this clamshell device being tested a Shenzhen Foxconn factory. Why just the shell? Apparently Apple is initially testing the durability of the hinge. 

As for the display itself, Apple is reportedly working with Samsung to procure foldable OLED panels for the iPhone flip. So it would not be a Micro LED display, even though Apple is investing heavily in this technology for the iPad and other products.

Although Prosser does not give a specific timeline for the iPhone Flip or foldable iPhone, his sources tell him that the release date should be in late 2022 or early 2023 based on the current progress of the product. 

A separate report from Digitimes recently said that the iPhone Flip would likely "step into the foldable smartphone sector in 2022." 

iPhone Flip vs. Galaxy Z Flip 3

Meanwhile, Samsung is said to be skipping over the Galaxy Z Flip 2 and going straight to the Galaxy Z Flip 3. (There was an initial Galaxy Z Flip and then a Galaxy Z Flip 5G, so this would technically be the third model). This is based on a report from Galaxy Club, which says that Samsung will be aiming for a "kinder price tag." 

You can expect one version that is 4G LTE only as well as a 5G model. However, we don't expect the new Galaxy Z Flip 3 to be unveiled at the same time as the Galaxy S21, which is rumored to launch at a January 14 event. 

A previous report from Korean site ETNews says that Samsung is working on four foldable phones for 2021, all of which will arrive during the second half of the year. There would be "high-end and general models." So Samsung should have a sizable head start on battling the foldable iPhone. 

Brittany Vincent

Brittany Vincent has been covering video games and tech for over 13 years for publications including Tom's Guide, MTV, Rolling Stone, CNN, Popular Science, Playboy, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, and more. She's also appeared as a panelist at video game conventions like PAX East and PAX West and has coordinated social media for companies like CNET. When she's not writing or gaming, she's looking for the next great visual novel in the vein of Saya no Uta. You can follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake.