We've seen quite a few folding phones at CES 2022, and some of the best phones could give the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 a run for its money. But we haven't seen a folding iPhone... yet. But that doesn't mean Apple isn't thinking about it, or making more prototypes.
According to leaker Dylandkt, as reported by Cult of Mac, "Apple is definitely working and testing prototypes that contain foldable displays." Don't get excited, though: the iPhone 14 is definitely not going to fold. "Too many compromises exist with foldable display technology though," the leaker says.
A folding iPhone in 2023?
We know Apple has been taking an interest in folding phones, and respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggested a folding iPhone might be possible in 2023 "if Apple can solve the foldable mobile device's key technology and mass production issues." But the latest leak suggests there's more to it than that: Apple isn't yet convinced that folding phones are here to stay, and even if they are it is adamant that it's not going to go backwards with the iPhone design. If Apple can't make a folding phone that looks and feels as good as an iPhone 13, it's not going to make it at all.
I think we're seeing what Apple has done again and again: it likes to learn from other companies' mistakes and come to the market late. For example, BlackBerry was the smartphone king when the iPhone launched and its makers dismissed the iPhone out of hand as a pale imitation; this month, BlackBerry gave its phone business the last rites and pulled the plug on its servers.
If there's one thing we know about Apple it's that when it enters a market, it plays to win. Rivals underestimate that at their peril.