A new report claims that Apple is working on a folding iPhone, but will release it more than a year from now. Given that other smartphone companies are expected to release foldable devices within a few months’ time, is the device still worth waiting for?

According to a report from CNBC, banking company UBS believes that Apple is steadily working on technology that can be used for foldable devices. It also believes that while the Cupertino tech giant can release a foldable device as early as next year, it “is more likely” to release such a product in 2021 instead.

Some might think that 2021 is too late a release window. Considering that other smartphone companies like Samsung, Huawei and Motorola are preparing to release their offerings -- the Galaxy Fold, the Mate X, and Razr, respectively -- this year, it seems natural for people to think Apple could be too late for the party.

UBS itself expects that Samsung will take the lead when it comes to bringing foldable devices to the market. This is because of the number of patent filings it has in relation to foldable displays and devices.

UBS added that it’s more likely that Apple will release a folding iPad before it releases a foldable iPhone. IHS Markit’s Jeff Lin also said the same thing earlier, saying the Cupertino tech giant will “develop the foldable device with iPad OS and Apple A series processors.”

Is it worth the wait?

Based on UBS and IHS Markit’s predictions, it seems unlikely for consumers to see a foldable iPhone, dubbed as the iPhone X Fold, released later this year or even next year. Will the device still be worth the wait, even if it takes the Cupertino giant a long time to release it?

The answer is a resounding yes.

While Apple didn’t explicitly announce that it will release a foldable iPhone anytime soon, an analyst noted how a patent revealed that such a device is on the Cupertino giant’s “roadmap.” The same analyst noted that by delaying the release of the device, the U.S.-based tech company is actually positioning itself to have the advantage over others, especially the Korean giant, Samsung.

By letting other tech companies release foldable smartphones first, Apple is able to avoid problems related to the new technology. For example, it didn’t have to suffer the shame Samsung had to experience with the Galaxy Fold’s display. It can simply watch and learn from a distance.

With the delay, Apple gave itself more time and opportunity to perfect the technologies it will use on its foldable devices. This alone makes Apple’s foldable devices worth the wait.

iPhone X Analysts believe a foldable iPhone is coming sooner or later. (Pictured: Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple, speaks during an Apple event at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park on September 12, 2018 in Cupertino, California.) Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images