Apple is rumored to be working on an iPhone Flip, the name coined for what is set to be Cupertino’s first foldable phone. But other than a few leaks we’ve not had much in the way of design leaks to give us a strong idea of what the phone could look like.
However, a clamshell flip phone has been hinted at, and that’s been enough for YouTube channel ConceptsiPhone (opens in new tab) to cook up a render of what the iPhone Flip could potentially look like. And we’re rather taken by this design, especially as it has features we want the iPhone 13 to come with.
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Currently, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 is the darling of the foldable clamshell smartphones, mostly because it’s the only one that’s widely available and delivers impressive performance, specs and features. And that means there's plenty of scope for rival phones to enter the foldables fray.
ConceptsiPhone’s renders presents a compelling design that could see Apple take on Samsung when it comes to foldable phones - if and when it decides to enter the market.
The render looks very much like a standard iPhone 12 that effectively folds in half vertically. That might not seem like cutting-edge innovation. But we’d challenge anyone not to look favorably on the slick flat edges of the iPhone 12, and putting them on a foldable just makes sense.
But there’s more to the renders than just a folding display. Most notably it envisions an under-display take on Touch ID, which was rumored to be coming to the iPhone 13, but now seems like it’ll be an iPhone 14 feature.
This is one feature we’d really like to see make an appearance on future iPhones, folding or otherwise, as during a time where mask wearing is prolific and causes problems for Face ID, having an alternative biometric security option would be ideal. One rumor says Apple is testing Face ID to work with masks, but we don't know if that will be ready in time for the iPhone 13.
The other notable part of the iPhone Flip render is the shrunken display notch. This is very much something we’re hoping will make its debut in the iPhone 13. Since the iPhone X, the display notch has remained the same size.
And while it holds a suite of powerful sensors, it’s now getting rather long in the tooth, especially when under-display front-facing cameras are starting to arrive in more phones; see our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 review for a lowdown on its under-display camera.
Other key features the render envisions the iPhone Flip having include a “120Hz ProMotion Liquid Retina XDR display,“ something akin to what we hope to see in the iPhone 13, or the iPhone 13 Pro at least.
And ConceptsiPhone’s video casually suggests the iPhone Flip could have an Apple M1 chip, which we feel would be a tad optimistic given that’s really a MacBook or iPad Pro 2021-grade chip; an iPhone Flip is likely to use the latest A-series chipset.
So taking an iPhone 12, adding in a large display that folds and has a smaller notch and a new take on Touch ID is enough to pique our curiosity. However, there’s a caveat.
According to the rumros so far, Apple isn’t set to make a foldable phone until 2023. This was further corroborated by DSCC. So while this imagined version of the iPhone Flip might look good for 2021 or 2022 standards, we’re hoping that two years down the line Apple will have a fresher iPhone design to work with, as well as a notchless iPhone.
With that in mind, if the iPhone Flip does indeed arrive in two years time, we’d expect it to look rather different than the render here. Time will tell.