KEY POINTS

  • Samsung, Huawei, and Motorola already released their foldable smartphones in the market
  • Apple might be looking into developing an iPhone Flip or an iPad Fold, based on several patents
  • A new patent filed by Apple for a foldable device could improve the designs of foldable smartphones and even minimize crease

Since last year, smartphone makers like Samsung and Huawei introduced their first-ever foldable devices. This year, Samsung once again launched another foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Z Flip, while Motorola introduced the RAZR. With the latest releases from various tech companies, many consumers are wondering when Apple would introduce the iPhone Flip or iPad Fold.

Reasons Why Apple Has Not Yet Released iPhone Flip or iPad Fold

Foldable smartphones are not mainstream yet and at this point at its early stage. According to iMore’s Rene Ritchie, the current hardware implementations are not yet here. The report explains that the plastic screens and the glass display in the new Galaxy Z Flip have yet to prove their durability. Additionally, the report mentioned the crease highlighting that at this point, it is the real deal-breaker in the foldable smartphone industry.

Aside from these factors, the report also cited the price of foldable smartphones, which could easily turn off consumers. Since foldables are in their early stage, the technology needed to develop them are expensive. Because of this, foldable smartphone makers have no other choice but to retail the smartphones at a premium price.

Apple's Kaiann Drance talks about the new iPhone 11 during a launch event on Apple's Cupertino, California campus Apple's Kaiann Drance talks about the new iPhone 11 during a launch event on Apple's Cupertino, California campus Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / JUSTIN SULLIVAN

Foldable iPhone, iPad Coming Soon?

Recently, Macrumors reported about a patent filed by the Cupertino tech giant, suggesting that it is looking into foldable devices. The patent, which was originally filed in the  USPTO, shows a hinge mechanism for a folding device that could feature retractable panels. Interestingly, the concept reveals that these movable flaps are released when the device folds to cover the gap between the display housing.

The flaps retract whenever the foldable device is in a bent state. The concept could eliminate or minimize crease when the device is unfolded. This Apple concept could dramatically improve the designs of foldable smartphones, Huawei and Samsung developed.

It is worth noting that this is not the first time that Apple filed a patent for a foldable device. The Cupertino giant filed several patents in Feb. and May 2019. Additionally, these patents are not an indication that Apple is actually creating a foldable iPhone or iPad. But, it is interesting to know that Apple is looking into this kind of product.