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Does the iPhone 15 fold? What you need to know

Someone using Find My with an iPhone 15.
Apple

Apple has revealed the next generation of iPhone with the iPhone 15 lineup at its Wonderlust event. This includes the standard iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max.

But one of the rising trends in smartphones is foldables. So, that naturally begs an important question: Do any of the iPhone 15 models fold? Let’s take a closer look.

Does the iPhone 15 fold?

iPhone 15 colors.
Apple

No, the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus do not fold.

Even if Apple were to come up with a foldable iPhone, it probably wouldn’t be with the standard iPhone variants. Typical Android foldables start at around $1,000 for the clamshell type like the Motorola Razr Plus and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, and at least $1,800 for the book-style ones like Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Google Pixel Fold.

Does the iPhone 15 Pro fold?

Color options for iPhone 15 series.
Apple

With that in mind, do either the iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max fold? Unfortunately, no.

Despite having higher price tags that are more similar to folding Android phones, neither the iPhone 15 Pro nor the iPhone 15 Pro Max fold. But if there’s no folding functionality, what gives for these two phones’ higher prices?

For one, the iPhone 15 Pro models now feature a titanium frame, which is more lightweight and durable than the stainless steel Apple previously used for the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

The iPhone 15 Pro variants also have a triple-lens camera system, which includes a telephoto lens that the standard iPhone 15 models do not have. And for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, there is now an improved 5x telephoto camera for even better optical zoom range over the smaller Pro model.

Even though the maximum storage option for the iPhone 15 Pro Max will cost you as much as how much a folding phone starts at, it’s still a slab of glass and titanium. No folding here.

When will Apple release a folding phone?

Folding iPhone concept from iOS Beta News.
iOS Beta News

A folding iPhone is not out of the question for Apple, though it is uncertain when it will come out, if ever.

So far, the only thing we do know is that Apple has been actively working on folding prototypes. There have been numerous reports revealing Apple has been both developing and testing foldable OLED screens, as well as hinges, since at least 2017. Research and development on these displays and hinge designs is reportedly still ongoing.

In 2016, LG was mass-producing foldable displays and planned to supply them to several companies, including Apple. In 2017, sources seem to have claimed that Apple and LG had an active partnership to develop foldable display tech for a future iPhone, which seems to have still been an active partnership even in 2022.

In 2020, a deal was signed between Apple and Samsung Display, where Samsung would supply a large number of foldable display samples over a year’s time that would be used for testing folding iPhone prototypes. This was also the same time that Apple started testing hinges, as it was looking for a display and hinge that could withstand up to 100,000 folds.

A picture of a folding iPhone patent.
USPTO

Also in 2020, notorious leaker Jon Prosser claimed to have seen a prototype device that had a two-screen design, similar to Microsoft’s Surface Neo and Surface Duo, however, rather than a single foldable display.

There are also patents that have been granted for Apple that also hint at a foldable phone, more akin to a clamshell-like the Razr or Galaxy Z Flip series. One such patent would allow for touch-sensitive control areas, including solid-state buttons, on the surface of the current iPhone design and a folding one in the future. This patent also makes a distinction between the edges that are on the current design and the curved edges on a potential folding device, which are called “sidewalls” in the patent.

A picture of a folding iPhone patent
USPTO

Of course, all of this doesn’t guarantee that we’ll see any foldable iPhone from Apple in the near future. Sources claim that Apple is “playing the long game” and just waiting to see how all of the foldable technology progresses.

Display analyst Ross Young, who has a solid track record with anything that concerns display tech, says that there won’t be a foldable iPhone before 2025, which is also a very preliminary guess.

In short, the iPhone 15 doesn’t fold, and you shouldn’t expect a foldable iPhone anytime soon.

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Christine Romero-Chan
Christine Romero-Chan has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade. She graduated from California…
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