There’s nothing exactly wrong with the current iPhone design. In fact, you can make a strong case that it’s nearly perfect at this point. Sure, you have the pesky notch at the top of the display, and though I thought it would be an eyesore when Apple first announced the iPhone X, it now just fades into the background. But Apple didn’t get to where it is today by resting on its laurels. On the contrary, Apple designers are always trying to cook up something new, and the next big innovation from Cupertino might just be a foldable iPhone, otherwise known as an iPhone Flip.
Over the past few years, it’s become apparent that Apple is actively exploring the development of a foldable iPhone. For starters, we’ve seen several patents which detail an iPhone Flip style device. Second, credible reports have pointed towards Apple already working with workable prototypes. If you’re at all curious about what a foldable iPhone might bring to the table, we’ve put together a compilation of some of the more credible iPhone Flip rumors.
There are two iPhone Flip prototypes
A little over a year ago, a report from the Economic Daily News relayed that Apple is working with two iPhone Flip prototypes. The first prototype is reportedly two vertical panels connected by a hinge. This design would open and close like a book.
To this design, noted Apple leaker Jon Prosser in 2020 said that this design doesn’t boast a notch. Rather, the design has a small forehead above the display that houses Face ID and other sensors.
“Even though they’re two separate panels,” Prosser writes, “when the displays are extended, it looks fairly continuous and seamless.”
The second iPhone Flip prototype is more similar to the Galaxy Z Flip design. In other words, imagine a tall iPhone that folds over in half at the midpoint. Just last month, Prosser said that Apple is “leaning heavily” in favor of this specific design.
Specs remain unclear
It’s hard enough to figure out specs for upcoming iPhone models we know are coming. It’s almost impossible to ascertain tech specs for a product that may not ever see the light of day.
Still, some small iPhone Flip rumors have emerged over the past two years. For instance, credible reports have said we can expect to see an iPhone Flip with an OLED display and a variety of different color designs. We’ve also seen rumors indicating that the device will boast a decently sized display that will dwarf the Galaxy Z Flip.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, for instance, has said the device will feature an 8-inch display with a 3200 x 1800 resolution.
In light of this dearth of information, it is worth sharing some iPhone Flip concept designs that have sprung up in recent months. While it’s impossible to know for sure what the final design will look like, these concepts are certainly intriguing.
This video depicting a mythical iPhone Air is well worth a watch.
So when might we actually see an iPhone Flip arrive in stores? Well, that remains the million-dollar question.
It’s worth noting that an iPhone Flip isn’t necessarily a guarantee. Recall that Apple has no qualms about investing heavily into a research project only to cancel it abruptly. We saw this play out with Apple’s long-rumored HDTV.
To this end, it’s worth highlighting this quote from noted leaker DylanDKT:
For those who are curious about a foldable iPhone, Apple is definitely working and testing multiple prototypes that contain foldable displays. Too many compromises still exist with foldable display technology though. There are also concerns as to whether foldable smartphones will continue to have a place in the market or will fall into obsolescence. Therefore, Apple is intent on carefully observing the market and improving upon the mistakes of their competitors. While other manufactures are iterating on products that are seemingly in beta, Apple is keen on making sure that the design is not a regression from the current form factor of the iPhone. They are interested in playing the long game to see how the technology progresses.
At the earliest, analysts believe an iPhone Flip release might happen in 2024. But as with all speculative Apple news, you’ll definitely want to take that tidbit with a grain of salt.
More iPhone coverage: For more iPhone news, visit our iPhone 14 guide.