The iPhone 12 buzz is already building. Although Apple received glowing praise for the iPhone 11 range (including the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max), the current generation hardly reinvented the wheel. In order to really grab headlines next year, Apple need to do something bold, and it looks like a foldable is on the cards.
Although a foldable iPhone is hotly tipped to debut in less than a year, Apple tend to release their products all in one go, in the autumn. Whether it will manifest as an iPhone 12 or a separate entry in the iPhone series, much like the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip (opens in new tab) introduced a new series of phones rather than tack on to the existing S series, we're not sure.
However, one designer has taken things into his own hands and made a concept for the folding iPhone, and if we were Apple, we would hire this man.
Concept artist Iskander Utebayev (opens in new tab) has taken to Instagram to show off his latest creation, and it's amassed over 1,150,000 views so far. The iPhone 12 Flip (as Utebayev calls it) clearly takes inspiration from the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip with its clamshell design.
One of the biggest changes from the Z Flip is the size of the front-facing display. The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip only has a 1" display that shows notifications and acts as a viewfinder for selfie shots, but the iPhone 12 Flip design has a fully-functional display at the front of the screen. The phone opens out into a much larger surface for watching movies, work or just browsing the net in more comfort.
We see Utebayev accessing Instagram without opening the phone, then continuing after unfolding the phone (which is done automatically with a brush of the thumb). It's a slick design, especially given the phone is able to open with one hand, unlike other foldables currently on the market. Check out the video below:
It looks slick, and Apple could do a lot worse than copy this design. However, foldables are notoriously problematic. Samsung's first folding phone, the Samsung Galaxy Fold, was beset with issues around its fragile screen. Last year's Motorola Razr clamshell has received complaints of the screen actually peeling away from the phone, while a teardown of the Z Flip has revealed the hinges are nowhere near as dust-proof as the manufacturer claims.
Apple has often allowed others to blaze the trail ahead of them, following up with a perfected version of the same technology. If Apple plans to release a folding phone in the next year (or even two years) we have no doubt it's working to circumvent these issues.
Would you like to see the iPhone 12 be a foldable, or would you prefer the device be launched as part of another range, leaving the "real" iPhones alone? As Utebayev's design grows in popularity, there's no doubt Apple is examining the current foldable market very closely...