The iPhone X isn’t even out yet and there’s already chatter about Apple’s plans for the iPhone in 2020.
A report from The Bell (via Korea’s The Investor) claims Apple has created a “task force” to create a foldable screen, possibly for a future iPhone.
The bendable screen is reportedly an OLED screen (the same kind of display technology that Apple will debut on the iPhone X).
The report says LG developed a foldable OLED display prototype years ago and is working on improving yield rates.
The first part is certainly true (OLED manufacturers like LG have shown off foldable displays for at least a decade), and a foldable screen is every bit as futuristic as it sounds. It could mean a phone that’ll fit in your pocket, but expands open into a larger display when unfolded.
It shouldn’t come as surprise that Apple’s looking into foldable displays. It’s been long-rumored that Samsung is working on commercializing a phone with a foldable screen, and the latest rumors suggest the company could launch it as soon as next year.
Other phone makers like China’s rapidly-growing Oppo are also developing their own foldable displays.
For argument’s sake, let’s say Apple is considering foldable iPhones. But how likely is it to really release one? I’m extremely skeptical. There are too many downsides to a foldable display that don’t add up to a better experience.
A foldable screen would make an iPhone more compact, but it would also put a crease in the middle. That’s just not something Apple Chief Designer Officer Jony Ive would OK.
The iPhone X is just launching and Ive is fully embracing the new notch design. It took 10 years for Apple to ditch the home button. A new iconic design isn’t going to change that soon. If anything, all iPhones will look like the X for the foreseeable future.
Apple doesn’t follow trends. Look at OLED displays. Samsung’s had them for years, but Apple’s only just now putting one in an iPhone. Samsung may be first to a phone with a foldable display, but Apple’s only going to do if it’s better than a non-bendable display and when the technology is mature.
Still, it’s fun to think about. Let the glut of Photoshopped concepts of a bendable iPhone commence!
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