Designer Antonio De Rosa has imagined a beautiful foldable iPhone that uses Apple's current design language. Check out the video and renders — definitely droolworthy.
De Rosa's “iPhone X Fold” concept has an external full screen cover. Inside, a flexible display turns it into a 8.3-inch tablet when unfolded, much like the Samsung Galaxy Fold but larger.
The rest are fantasy specs too, except for the price: $2,000 sounds about just right if Apple ever makes this device.
The possibility of an Apple foldable
Analysts consider them the future of phones and a path to growth in market that has become stagnant. In fact, some of those analysts have already said that Apple will release a foldable iPhone as early as 2020
CEO Tim Cook can't afford to lose much more market share, like when Steve Jobs refused to adopt larger screens, giving the lead to Samsung in the process. The company is already at #3 globally and Xiaomi and Oppo are not far behind.
Apple has been working on different aspects of a foldable phone. Earlier this month, the United States Patent and Trademark Office published yet another Apple foldable phone patent, detailing how flexible screens have a problem with cold weather on the folding part. Cold can make this area fragile and brittle so a heating element will solve this problem.
Apple was awarded a patent for a flexible battery on March 2018, one that would be integrated with the display, with graphite padding to help dissipate the heat that will occur when you combine the two.
In October, the USPTO awarded a patent for a magnetic latch that would keep the phone closed without any physical mechanism. And last month, on February 14, another patent showed how a normal iPhone could fold in half like the future foldable Motorola Razr.
More recently, Samsung Display division sent Apple and Google samples of the same technology found in the Galaxy Fold.
On the other hand, there is the (remote) possibility that Apple may skip foldable phones in favor of Apple AR glasses. After all, why have a large phone that folds into a large tablet when you can carry a tiny one to power eyeglasses that give you an infinite display only limited by your field of vision?
The rumor is that the AR glasses will come in 2020. Maybe that's a good play. Risky but potentially masterful. If you asked me to buy a foldable phone or AR eyeglasses that work great powered by a tiny phone, I will definitely pick the latter.
But if the foldable iPhone looked like the above, I would be very, very tempted to splurge on one.
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Jesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 story and wrote old angry man rants, among other things. He's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce, and currently writes for Fast Company and Tom's Guide.