According to information circulated among Apple partners in China, the American company is already collaborating with Foxconn and other major component suppliers for the development of a foldable screen iPhone.
Apparently, the preparations are at the stage of evaluation and selection of future components, Apple attaching particular importance to the reliability offered. One of the demands of partners Foxconn and Nippon Nippon is the development of a screen / hinge combination capable of withstanding more than 100,000 folds, reflecting real conditions of use of the product. For comparison, the screen folding mechanisms developed for laptop systems target a number of 20,000 – 30,000 successive folds, but no more than 50,000 for premium models.
The first foldable iPhone is expected to use hinge mechanisms provided by Taiwanese manufacturers, such as Nippon Nippon, a vendor Apple has used in the past to equip MacBook systems.
Instead, foldable screens will most likely be OLED solutions delivered by Samsung, with Apple having few alternatives that meet the strict requirements of quality and durability. A decisive argument could be the Ultra Thin Glass (UTG) technology, developed by Samsung to protect folding screens from scratches.
Alternatively, Apple could equip the first foldable iPhones with microLED screens. Unlike miniLED technology, microLED promises higher brightness, color saturation and higher energy efficiency than OLED. Industry sources say that Apple is already investing in the creation of its own microLED screen factory, the technology will eventually replace the OLED one.
Still in the early stages of selecting component suppliers, the design of the new foldable iPhone is likely to give the first prototype devices next year, the selection of the final design and commercial-scale production being most likely planned for 2022.
Robert J. Smith is still early into his career as tech reporter but has already had his work published in many major publications including JoyStiq and Android Authority. In regards to academics, Robert earned a degree in business from Fordham University. Robert has passion for emerging technology and covers upcoming products and breakthroughs in science and tech.