Skip iPhone 14? Foldable iPhone could launch next year

iPhone Flip Concept
(Image credit: EverythingApplePro)

Update: The latest patents for Apple indicate a foldable iPhone — or iPad — is in the works.

A foldable iPhone is basically the Ross and Rachel question of the tech world; will Apple make it or won’t it bother? But slowly we’re getting more hints that a foldable phone from the folks in Cupertino could be in the works and that it might even arrive in 2023. 

That's because MacRumors reports that display analyst Ross Young, who has a track record for being accurate with such tips, has suggested Apple could introduce a foldable iPhone next year. Equally, he added that 2024 is probably the more likely launch year for such a device. 

Often referred to as the iPhone Flip, details into what a foldable iPhone might feature are pretty scarce. Mostly there have been hints and rumors that Apple is indeed working on a foldable, but that's about as far as they go. 

It would seem logical that Apple is at least pondering a foldable iPhone; after all, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 has shown how far foldables have come in just a couple of years. And Apple has a history of embracing new products or device form factors once the tech has hit a certain point of maturity, then refining it to be one of the best iterations available. 

A case in point is the iPhone 13 Pro and it’s 120Hz display; Appel embraced a high refresh rate once LTPO panel tech became widely available and facilitated adaptive screen refresh rates. And Apple wasn’t the first to the smartphone market, but it was basically the best for years; arguably it remains so despite the competition in our best phones list.  

So other phone makers may have beaten Apple to the market with their foldable phones. But Cupertino has the scope to deliver a very refined device; after all, it has an app ecosystem suited for larger screened mobile devices in the form of iPadOS. 

But all this raises the question of whether you should wait for a foldable iPhone? The iPhone 13 range was a relatively small upgrade over the iPhone 12 series, so we’re hoping for bigger upgrades and significant changes with the iPhone 14; say a notch-free display and much sharper main camera. The return of Touch ID seems in limbo at best. 

Equally, if you have an iPhone 13 Pro, a phone I recently moved to after years on Android, then you are likely set on the smartphone front for another year at least. That means when you come to upgrade a foldable iPhone might have arrived. 

We’d suggest keeping an open mind until we hear more concrete details about the much-rumored foldable iPhone. If it is indeed in the works then we’d be cautiously optimistic that we’d hear more titbits of information about it later on in 2022. 

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.