Two distinct foldable iPhone prototypes pass Foxconn durability testing
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Just as the Android world is gearing up for the release of rollable smartphones, a new report out of the Taiwanese supply chain points to Apple’s continued interest in bringing a foldable iPhone to market. According to Money UDN, Apple partner Foxconn has successfully completed durability testing of the two distinct foldable designs. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the two foldable iPhone prototypes are said to resemble the Galaxy Z Fold in one instance and the Galaxy Z Flip in the other.
The Money UDN report indicates that the prototypes being tested aren’t fully functional devices, but are the chassis and display components. These areas proved to be the biggest sticking points of the initial borked Galaxy Fold launch but apparently Apple’s designs passed quality control checks in both instances. As a yardstick, Samsung has pointed to 300,000 successful opening and closing tests for its currently shipping Z Fold devices as its internal benchmark for foldable durability.
Unlike Samsung, which is shipping both the Z Fold and Z Flip designs, the Money UDN report suggests that Apple will now continue to evaluate the designs but with a view to dropping one and only pursuing the other. In terms of a launch window, sometime in 2022 is cited as the most likely should Apple forge ahead and bring one of the designs to market. From an operating system perspective, iOS/iPadOS is readily adaptable to a convertible tablet form factor similar to the Galaxy Z Fold, so it would not surprise to see Apple pursue this as its preferred option.