Barring Apple, almost every other major smartphone OEM has jumped on the foldable device bandwagon. While there have been rumors of Apple working on a foldable iPhone, nothing concrete about its existence or launch has leaked so far. Now, a new DigiTimes report claims that Apple will “step into the foldable smartphone sector in 2022.”
The report also highlights the growing adoption of OLED panels in smartphones that has led LG Display and Japan Display to ramp up their OLED manufacturing efforts. The demand for OLED panels has jumped post the pandemic, and its adoption has also been led by the iPhone 12 series switching to the technology completely. The move has also led other OEMs to adopt OLED panels for their mid-range and premium smartphones. Samsung Display, which is the leader in OLED technology and dominates in terms of market share, has also expanded its OLED manufacturing capacity to 900,000 units in the second half of 2020.
As Samsung Electronics has already launched three foldable smartphones built using flexible OLED panels, Digitimes Research believes that Apple will likely step into the foldable smartphone sector in 2022, furthering demand for flexible OLED displays.
Apple has a number of foldable iPhone-related patents. The company had reportedly also sent foldable iPhones to Foxconn for testing earlier this year. Leaker Jon Prosser had also detailed Apple’s existing iPhone prototype saying it had an iPhone 11-like design and rounded stainless steel edges. Interestingly, the device had two separate display panels on a hinge instead of using a true foldable display like Samsung and others.
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Whether Apple ends up launching a foldable iPhone in 2022 is still up for debate. However, it is clear that the company is prototyping foldable iPhones and its launch will depend on just how useful and practical foldable displays turn out to be. Are you looking forward to Apple launching a foldable iPhone in a couple of years from now?[Via DigiTimes]