Apple tests two folding iPhone prototypes with different designs

If Apple makes a foldable iPhone, it might look like this concept design.
Screenshot: ConceptsiPhone

Apple is reportedly testing two different folding iPhone designs. But only one of them has a flexible screen. If one of the prototypes successfully passes testing, it could become the first foldable iOS handset.

Two folding iPhone approaches

One of the designs being explored has a pair of screens joined by a hinge, according to the Taiwan-based Economic Daily News. Apple received a patent for one possible dual-display handset in spring 2020.

The other design supposedly being tested has a “flip phone” shape similar to the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip. The latter model is the only one that would include a flexible screen. It’s not clear if this uses an innovative hinge mechanism designed to prevent flexible displays from creasing that the company patented in winter 2020.

Apple is supposedly testing the hinges of the two different prototype designs at the Foxconn factory in Shenzhen. The one that comes through the full testing process in the best shape could become a real product, while the other design will be rejected.

It must be noted that AppleTrack indicates Economic Daily News has a 36.8% accuracy rating for Apple-related leaks and predictions.

Apple keeps investigating

While there’s certainly no guarantee Apple plans a folding iPhone, it undeniably keeps looking into it. For years, company engineers keep filing for patents related to hinges, screens and other aspects of flexible handsets. Just within 2020, there’s work on hinge designs and bendable batteries too.

Samsung, Motorola and others already have foldable phones. In general, these have been very expensive, niche offerings. Apple is unlikely to introduce a flexible iOS device unless it expects the product to be interesting to a large enough market to go mainstream.