Apple could be gearing up for the battle of the best foldable devices on the market as recent news revealed that the company is preparing to introduce what might be called the “iPhone X Fold.”

Amid the flurry of introductions of various foldable phones from Samsung and Huawei, news of Apple’s own variant is also making rounds online. According to Forbes, the company recently applied for a continuation of its existing patent that was applied in 2011 and approved in 2014. The continuation was filed last Feb. 14.

The patent in 2011 showed that Apple has been planning to introduce a new foldable phone for a long time now. The continuation also suggests that the plan could take form very soon. Based on the new patent, Apple’s foldable phone can turn into a tablet with a horizontal keyboard. The problem with this design is that it doesn’t stray away from what Samsung and Huawei are offering.

A consumer tech analyst, however, suggested that Apple can afford to take a different direction. One suggestion raised was instead of a phone turning into an iPad, Apple’s iPhone should fold to a smaller mobile device much like a flip phone. Another suggestion made was for the foldable iPhone to expand to the size of an e-book reader, a product that the company has not really explored.

Another interesting take is that based on the patents, the new device was given the description of “an illustrative electronic device” with a flexible display. This could mean that the foldable concept can be applied not only to a mobile phone but also to tablets. With this, Apple could produce a foldable iPad in the future. This is an exciting idea that will definitely set Apple apart from the brands that are now focusing on foldable smartphones.

IBTimes earlier reported that Apple is expected to introduce its foldable phone sometime next year although some reports say the actual release is in two years. This means Apple has all the time it needs to “perfect” its version compared to Samsung’s Galaxy Fold and Huawei’s Mate X that are expected to arrive in April and mid-2019, respectively.

It’s important to note that consumers might need to pay a premium price for the next Apple technology, or about 300 percent more compared to other mobile devices.

GettyImages-1090864820 Apple could be working on the iPhone X Fold. Pictured: The logo of FaceTime (2nd in the second row from top) is pictured on an Iphone screen in Berlin on January 29, 2019. Photo: ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images