Foldable iPhones have been the subject of speculation in the tech industry for months – but now it seems we have evidence Apple is actually developing prototypes.
According to GizmoChina, the California-based tech giant has partnered with companies such as Hon Hai and Shin Nikko for manufacturing of the foldable iPhone.
Apple is also reportedly looking into the use of OLED or Micro LED for the display panel.
Industry analysts believe Apple is still in the development stage and are in the process of acquiring patents for the foldable design, so it is not expected to launch on the market until at least 2022.
Apple’s first patent for the foldable phone surfaced in 2016. The filing described a smartphone which folds in half horizontally via a flexible OLED display and a hinged metal folding mechanism.
As per the report, Apple is testing components in Taiwan, including display and the folding mechanism.
Shin Nikko is expected to be the primary supplier for the components while Hon Hai is understood to be handling the assembling.
Reports suggest the unreleased foldable iPhone will be designed with a continuous display, not two separate display panels.
It is believed Apple will discontinue production of the iPad mini if the foldable iPhone is launched to the market.
A number of other companies have already released foldable phones, including the Samsung Z Fold2 and the Huawei Mate Xs 5G.