Apple reportedly tested a foldable iPhone, but don’t expect it anytime soon

While Samsung used CES 2022 as an opportunity to showcase the future of expandable displays with a selection of foldable and scrolling prototypes, Apple’s iPhone Flip / Fold remains purely moot. And although various sources have suggested that a foldable iPhone could be on the cards for 2023, the leaker Dylandkt said Apple is taking a “wait-and-see approach” as it tinkers with possible designs.

“Apple is definitely working and testing several prototypes containing foldable screens”, tweeted the leaker, which enjoys a solid 77.5% accuracy rating on AppleTrack. “However, too many compromises still exist with foldable display technology,” he added.

He didn’t elaborate on the compromises Apple may be dissatisfied with, but take your pick from unsightly creases, easily scratched surfaces, and a guaranteed over number of creases (200,000 in the case of the latest Samsung Galaxy foldables – i.e. 100 folds per day for five years).

But on top of that, the official adds that there is concern that foldable phones are just a passing fad – and a fad that is over by the time Apple joins the race. “Therefore, Apple intends to carefully observe the market and correct the mistakes of its competitors,” he said. wrote.

“As other manufacturers iterate on products that are apparently in beta, Apple is keen to ensure the design is not a step back from the current iPhone form factor,” he said. he declares. continued. “They are interested in playing the long game to see how the technology advances.”

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Significantly cautious?

On the one hand, it looks like a typical Apple (assuming the leaks are correct, of course). Even the company’s biggest advocates won’t claim that it is the first to adopt exciting new tech trends, typically waiting for innovations to mature before adopting them. That translates to fancy products, and while you can argue that the iPhone was too slow to embrace wireless charging or OLED panels, Face ID was undoubtedly a big improvement over the first hardware track of facial recognition traced by Android pioneers.

But stopping to wait is risky in this case. While sales have undoubtedly picked up in 2021, in part thanks to Samsung’s aggressive price drop with the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3, foldables remain a niche product. Logically, this is a good reason for Apple to stay out, but counterintuitively it could also be the strongest argument for it to step in. Apple, after all, has a unique ability to sell new concepts even when the price is high and the form factor is off the wall, as it did with the AirPods initially ridiculed.

For Apple, it doesn’t matter that foldables fail if they haven’t spent a lot of money on the genre, of course. But anyone who wants foldables to go mainstream should be hoping that Apple will join the race – and, perversely, that should include its big rivals Samsung.

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