Foldable smartphone design is the latest trend in the market today. The leader in the Android devices industry, Samsung, has taken the wraps off the Galaxy Fold last month in the Galaxy Unpacked event. Huawei also unveiled the Mate X in the recent MWC event. Motorola also confirmed that it is preparing a folding device in the RAZR series.
Apple is currently holding multiple patents related to folding mobile display. So, we shouldn’t be surprised that Apple is developing its own folding device as well. It appears that Apple has fairly advanced technological solutions for foldable display. As an example, the fold point is quite vulnerable to cold temperature and it could be damaged. One of the patents offers a solution by providing internal heating under the display. Interestingly, neither Samsung nor Huawei has discussed anything on this possible weakness.
Based on traditional iOS device designs, various teams have been working on potential details of Apple’s future foldables. LetsGoDigital introduces a 3D model of a foldable iPad with pliable display, just like the Mate X. However, the design doesn’t fold on the inside. Instead, the design opens and closes like a paperback novel, so a second touchscreen isn’t needed. The concept also includes a front-facing selfie camera and also a rear-facing camera. However, the latter can be used only when the device is unfurled completely. The former could turn to rear-facing shooter when users close the device. Roy Gisling, a well known industrial designer has also made his own concept, dubbed the iPhone X Fold, which folds vertically. In its folded form, the conceptual device is quite narrow.
Apple is regularly criticized of being slower in delivering new designs based on the latest trends. Often, Android devices introduced new features first and Apple responded one or two years later. iPhone models with 5G support won’t be coming until 2020. It means that we shouldn’t expect to see a foldable iPhone model anytime soon. The above concepts seem believable, because they match the standard iPhone and iPad design.