Apple’s foldable iPhone: Here’s everything we know

Apple applies for a patent on a wrap-around iPhone display

iphone xs
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Mobile manufacturers working on flexible displays for their smartphones is nothing new at the moment — Samsung’s foldable phone seems almost ready to appear, while Microsoft, Huawei, and even Motorola have expressed interest in making foldable Android handsets in the foreseeable future.

And Apple isn’t being left behind. According to a Bank of America analyst quoted in a report from CNBC, the next major redesign of the iPhone will come in the form of a foldable form factor. The report notes that Apple may already be working with suppliers to create the new phone, which wouldn’t be released until 2020.

Design

OLED displays are largely to thank for the rise of the foldable concept phone, because they’re made up of individual pixels and are able to be bent and manipulated in ways that LCD displays are not. Despite going back to LCD “Liquid Retina” displays for the iPhone XR and the new iPad Pro, Apple has been pushing forward with OLED displays on the new iPhone XS range, and it’s a given that we’d expect to see an OLED display on a foldable Apple device.

But the design of such a device is nowhere near finalized, if we look at the slew of patents Apple has been putting out. Most recently, Apple applied for a patent on a device with a “wrap-around” display. So rather than folding out to make a larger screen, Apple may look at increasing screen estate by extending a folding display all-around a device.

foldable iphone news apple wrap around display

Interestingly, the patent also notes that such a design could be sold as a glass enclosure for a separate folding screen — so you could create a phone-like device out of a flexible screen by inserting it into a transparent enclosure. This fits with earlier patents for a super-bendy display.

This is far from the first weird vision of a foldable device we’ve seen from Apple. A previous patent application involved an iPhone that wound up like a scroll, unwinding from two cylinders on either end. One of the earliest patents to be filed, way back in 2016, showcases a more “traditional” foldable phone, with a central hinge that turns a smaller display into a much larger, tablet-sized affair — something more akin to the ZTE Axon M.

Mobile

Verizon’s deal could get you a free iPhone XR — but there’s some fine print

Verizon launched a new deal for its smartphones aimed at encouraging customers to open a new line. If you're willing and you want two new phones, you could get a free Samsung Galaxy S9, iPhone XR, or Pixel 3.
Mobile

The iPhone XS Battery Case's battery has a smaller capacity than previous cases

Apple has been rumored to be working on a new iPhone battery case for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. Now, those new cases are finally here, offering seven hours of extra use for each iPhone and are available for $129.
Mobile

C you soon? Rumors swirl of a USB-C port on 2019 iPhones

While it's not been long since the last iPhones launched, rumors for the next iPhone are already surfacing. Apple's 2019 flagship could include a variety of upgrades ranging from a new design to enhanced features.
Apple

Rumors say Apple's AirPower wireless charger may finally be in production

At its September event in 2018, Apple unveiled the AirPower, a new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yet been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.
Wearables

The best Apple Watch bands and straps to stylize your timepiece

If you have an Apple Watch, you know how easy it is to take off the strap it came with, so why not buy yourself another one? Here, we've gathered the best Apple Watch bands we've seen so far. There's something for everyone.
Mobile

How to choose an iPad in 2019: A practical guide to Apple’s tablets

Selecting an iPad from Apple's lineup can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Our comprehensive guide should put the numbers and specs in practical, easy-to-understand terms. Find your ideal iPad with the help of our guide.
Mobile

The Cat S48c is the phone designed for construction workers (or the clumsy)

The Cat S48c is a rugged smartphone that's available from Sprint. It mixes midrange specs with a huge battery wrapped in an extremely tough and protective body. If you need a phone that can survive the construction site, then this is it.
Mobile

Apple resurrects the iPhone SE with brand-new units starting at $249

Apple quietly started selling the iPhone SE again, at even lower prices than when it was discontinued four months ago. Brand new units of the 32GB version are on sale for $249, while the 128GB version is going for $299.
Android

Popular Android navigation apps are just Google Maps with ads, researcher says

A malware researcher found that 19 free Android navigation apps on the Google Play Store were nothing more than Google Maps, but with ads. One of the apps asked for a payment to remove the ads, while some of them presented security risks.
Mobile

Google Maps will now help drivers stay within speed limits, avoid speed traps

Google Maps will now start showing speed limits and speed camera locations, so that drivers will not be flagged for speeding tickets. The new features arrive to the app years after they were introduced in Waze.
Mobile

Text up a storm with the best messaging apps for iOS and Android

These days, most people tend to favor digital messages over phone calls. We have the best messaging apps that allow you to share photos and documents, send text messages, and more with end-to-end encryption.
Mobile

If you want Samsung's advanced folding phone, be prepared to pay a lot for it

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy Fold, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.
Mobile

Do these case images confirm a side-mounted fingerprint scanner on the S10 E?

It won't be long now; With 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.
Mobile

T-Mobile 5G rollout: Here is everything you need to know

2019 will be a huge year for T-Mobile. Not only is a merger with Sprint likely, but T-Mobile is also in the midst of building out its next-generation mobile service. Here's everything you need to know about the T-Mobile 5G rollout.