Apple's next major iPhone redesign may have a foldable form factor, according to Bank of America analyst Merrill Lynch. Apple was last year rumored to be working with LG on foldable display tech, but according to Lynch, Apple has now moved on to collaborate with other suppliers on the design of other flexible smartphone components.
Foldable phones have been talked up as the next big smartphone design change for quite a while now, but all we've seen thus far have been prototypes from companies like Samsung and Lenovo. Samsung has even been working on foldable AMOLED panels since as early as 2011. However, the big hurdle with foldable smartphones is that not only the display needs to be flexible, but a lot of other components as well. For a full-fledged foldable design, you'd need a flexible PCB, a flexible battery, and a lot of other components.
Bank of America, Apple may be ready with a mass-producible foldable design in 2020.So it's no secret that the big players are working in this direction, but when can we expect to finally see a mass-produced foldable phone? Rumors from a few years ago pinned 2018 as the year of the bendy phone, but chances of seeing such a device within the next nine months are slim to none. According to
What's more interesting, is that Apple was recently rumored to also be working on its own microLED displays, likely to debut in one of the future iterations of the Apple Watch. If this rumor is true, it ties in with Apple's supposed intentions to produce a foldable iPhone, as this sort of design requires a display that is made up of independent pixels. This makes OLED and microLED the only viable technologies, as LCD is rigid.