Fans have been waiting for Apple to unveil its plans for a foldable iPhone, dubbed the “iPhone X Fold.” Why did Apple decide to keep silent about the device anyway?

While smartphone companies such as Samsung and Huawei are racing to release the first mainstream foldable smartphone, Apple seems to be busy with other projects and concerns like the upcoming 2019 and 2020 iPhones, new MacBook Pros with scissor keyboards, and iPad Pros that allow users to adjust the sizes of app icons found on the home screen.

If there’s one thing Apple isn’t talking about, at least in the open, is if it will be working on foldable devices that will take on Samsung and Huawei’s offerings.

It’s on the way

Several analysts said they believe Apple is working on a foldable device. An analyst for Wedbush Securities said a patent “shows this [foldable device] is something on [Apple’s] roadmap.”

The same analyst, after saying Apple is “well behind Samsung” in terms of foldable smartphones, said the Cupertino tech giant has an advantage over the Korean smartphone maker: its first foldable device had a lot of problems despite the expensive selling price. Samsung’s Galaxy Fold had issues with the display, leading the company to recall all review units and work on the device.

Another analyst said Apple is is likely to release a foldable device in the future. Before Cupertino decides to release a foldable phone, however, it might choose to release a foldable iPad instead.

Jeff Lin, Associate Director for Consumer Electronics at IHS Markit, earlier said "We think Apple will follow [a] similar Microsoft concept to develop the foldable device with iPad OS and Apple A series processors." Lin was referring to Microsoft’s foldable Surface PC.

It’s also worth noting that Corning, the company that supplies Apple with Gorilla Glass for its iPhone displays, is working on a technology called “glass polymer.” This technology will allow Corning to produce bendable screens as flexible as plastic, but as durable and beautiful as glass.

Why not a foldable iPhone?

Based on these details, it’s safe to assume that Apple has a foldable device coming soon. But why does Apple continue to stay mum about it? One simple answer could be that Cupertino expected the Galaxy Fold to bump into issues like folding display problems and buggy software (as per CNet), and decided to wait and learn from it.