Foldable phones have become all the rage in recent years, with users loving their blend of portability and screen real estate. The range has grown significantly too, with a number of new players – like the Oppo Find N2 Flip and the Motorola Razr 2022 – taking the opportunity to join in on the fun.
One notable missing party is Apple. Their iPhone range has been king of the slab phone stakes for years, but they've been markedly more reserved about entering the foldable game.
Of course, that hasn't stemmed a steady stream of rumours about potential offerings. While a flip-style iPhone appears more likely than a larger folding device – like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 – more recent rumours have suggested that a larger folding iPad might be on the horizon as Apple's first venture into that territory.
This led some people to think that Cupertino company were leaving the idea of a foldable phone behind altogether. Not so, suggests iPhone rumour guru, Mark Gurman (opens in new tab). In the latest edition of his weekly insight into all things Apple, Gurman goes into a lot of detail on the rumoured iPhone 15 Ultra. He talks about the rumoured features of that handset, comparing it to the new Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.
Then, he notes Samsung's offerings in the world of foldable phones, suggesting that Apple may still be in a position to release such a device. He says, "If Apple were to sell a foldable iPhone, the price would clearly be higher than that of its current models. Such a device would require far more advanced technology for batteries, displays and chips."
But that's no problem for Apple. Earlier in the same piece, Gurman summarised Tim Cook's statement from the companies' latest earnings call: "The price increase is no problem. In fact, consumers could probably be persuaded to spend more."
Is that enough to suggest that an iPhone Fold is still in the works? Well, no, but it does remind us that it's still plausible. The foldable phone segment has grown massively in recent years, even when the wider smartphone market has struggled.
Clearly there is interest from a consumer perspective – not just for the foldable phone market, but in a foldable iPhone. Last year, we saw one YouTuber craft a homemade version of the phone, based on leaked renders. The response, aside from questioning the build quality, was good, with many suggesting that the concept was of interest to them.
It doesn't seem to be part of Apple's short-term plans at the moment, but we'll certainly be keeping a close eye on any future developments.