First foldable iPhone could arrive in 2020
Apple fans who were hoping to see a foldable iPhone by the end of this year will be certainly disappointed, but it looks like the first such device to hail from Cupertino will hit the market in 2020. Obviously, nothing is official yet, but the rumor comes from Bank of America Merril Lynch and not some obscure blog that went online last week.
According to a note to clients issued last Friday by analyst Wamsi Mohan, "Our checks also suggest that Apple is working with suppliers on a foldable phone (that potentially could double up as a tablet) for launch in 2020." The same source also claims that the iPhone handsets that will launch this fall will be "largely unchanged for the OLED versions although size changes have proved to be a catalyst in the past."
The report mentioned above was published after Mohan's meeting with several Apple suppliers in Asia. Back in October, unnamed sources were quoted by Asian news outlet The Investor saying that both LG and Apple are working on foldable handsets. In the past, Lenovo and Samsung also have shown concept devices with foldable displays, but none of them turned into a marketable product so far.
As incredible as it may seem to many, foldable handsets have been around for almost a decade. Back in early 2009, Kyocera unveiled a prototype phone with a foldable design that was also capable of morphing into a few different shapes. This concept device, simply called "EOS," also featured an OLED and was powered by the user's kinetic energy. Two years later, the Kyocera Echo arrived on the market, although it was completely different from the EOS concept. At the end of last year, the ZTE Axon M revived the foldable design and was well received by the press and AT&T customers. Sadly, it remained an AT&T exclusive ever since and its US$725 price definitely kept away quite a few of those interested in such a device.