If you're waiting for a foldable Apple iPhone, it could take a fair while yet

Apple has reportedly suffered a setback in its plans for folding devices

Foldable iPhone concept
(Image credit: Michal Dufka / Yanko Design)
Quick Summary

Reports from China suggest that Apple is having issues with foldable OLED panels.

It is claimed that displays provided by Samsung aren't holding up to Apple's strict testing standards.

There has been a lot of recent talk about Apple working on its own foldable devices, but it seems that the company has suffered a setback. New reports claim that it has suspended plans due to an issue with bendable displays.

An influential tech blogger from China claims that Apple has had to press pause on its foldable iPhone tests due to problems with the OLED panels – they don't meet Apple's strict standards.

"The project has been temporarily suspended because displays failed the screen tests," wrote Fixed Focus Digital on Weibo.

"Apple's requirements are too high and require folding screens to pass display [standards], which is really difficult."

He goes on to suggest that the panels that have been used so far are manufactured by Samsung, with one even breaking within "a few days".

Samsung, of course, has no such issues with its own foldable phones.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Galaxy Z Fold 5 have both been commended for their durability. However, it also doesn't come as a surprise to learn that Apple isn't at that level yet. After all, Samsung has been releasing foldables for more than half a decade.

It could be that it's not the OLED panels at fault, but the hinge design.

Either way, a foldable iPhone now seems a long way off. We doubt we'll see a foldable iPad mini any time sooner, neither.

That was always more likely to appear first anyway, with rumours pointing to a larger form factor for Apple's first folding device.

In the meantime, there are plenty of excellent folding phone rivals on the market today, with several more on the horizon. Mobile World Congress starts this coming weekend and we expect a couple of new devices, at least.

Tecno plans for a Galaxy Z Fold 5 rival, for example, in the shape of the Tecno Phantom V Fold 2. We'll bring you all the news from the show as it happens.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.