iPhone Fold release date, design rumors: 2 foldable prototypes pass durability tests; launch is unlikely before 2022
Apple may not be saying much about a folding iPhone at this point, but it does not necessarily mean it is not developing anything to compete in that department. That is, at least, what is being suggested in recent reports that two prototypes for what could be called the iPhone Fold were tested for durability before 2020 ended.
Apple has tested 2 foldable iPhone prototypes, report says
Two prototypes rumored for the folding iPhone were reportedly tested recently by Foxconn. However, Economic Daily News reports that the tests only focused on the “shells” possibly referring to the durability of the hinges for the future iPhone Fold.
Both prototypes reportedly passed the internal test, which suggests that the development of an iPhone Fold is making a progress. Meanwhile, Jon Prosser notes that Apple is unlikely to launch two different iPhones with a folding form factor at the same time. While his sources also cited having two prototypes in the pipeline, they expect Apple to choose just one device to launch for its first-ever foldable iPhone.
Prosser also recalled an earlier tip about a prototype being considered by Apple with a dual-screen. Even though it has a folding mechanism, the leaker was reluctant in calling it a foldable smartphone arguing that the unannounced device practically has two displays attached by hinges.
The newer prototype, according to Prosser, might fit more in the “foldable” category as it features a single OLED panel that closes in a clamshell fashion. Based on these descriptions, it appears that Apple is working on an iPhone that could look like the Microsoft Surface Duo, and the latter being similar to Samsung Galaxy Z Flip.
When will Apple join the foldable smartphone competition?
Tech companies like Apple are always developing new devices discreetly, and not all of them can be expected to see the light of day. However, all these reports suggest that Apple is serious about competing in the folding smartphone market with a new iPhone in the future.
The next question would be how far into the future is the rumored iPhone Fold? The same sources suggest that the earliest possible release window for the iPhone Fold is in fall 2020. But Apple reportedly does not have a definitive schedule yet for this product, so a launch timeline later than 2020 cannot be ruled out yet.