The homemade foldable iPhone is terrible, but it's a glimpse of the future

Yes, the cobbled-together iPhone folding phone is well ropy. But if you squint you can see the iPhone's future

A render of the foldable iPhone
(Image credit: 科技美学)

I love our story about the incredible folding iPhone put together by a Chinese YouTuber: cobbled together from a mix of Motorola Razr and iPhone X bits, while it's a working phone it's incredibly basic and clearly quite crap. But it's also enormously exciting when you look at it in conjunction with another Chinese folding phone: the next Honor foldable.

One of the things that really struck me about the illustration showing Honor's design is how much like the iPhone SE 2022 it looks when it's side-on. That's the phone my kids have, and it's a brilliant and brilliantly thin smartphone that's just 7.3mm thick. So if you imagine the folding iPhone made not from a Razr but from an iPhone SE, that could be quite the device.

You gotta know when to fold 'em

I really want a folding iPhone. I love the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 – I think the latter is the more desirable one – but my family and I are all-in on Apple for everything so moving to one of the best Android phones isn't an option.

The reason I'm focusing on the iPhone SE rather than my own iPhone 14 Pro when they're almost the same thickness – the iPhone 14 Pro is 7.85mm thick – is because the SE might not *be* much thinner, but it looks and feels much thinner due to its rounded edges. We've had all kinds of folding iPhone concept renders in the last couple of years, and they've all been visibly chunky because they've been based on the range-topping iPhones rather than the thinnest ones. 

The iPhone 14's more slab-sided approach is fine for a normal phone but would look seriously chunky in a foldable, and possibly even pocket-destroying. So I hope that when Apple finally does make its folding iPhone, thin is in.

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com (opens in new tab)).