Foldable iPhone 2020? Samsung Reportedly Sends Apple Folding Screens

Samsung is reportedly supplying Apple with folding display tech. 

by James Dennin

Apple is looking at potential suppliers in the foldable display world to help bring a bending iPad (or expandable iPhone, depending on how you look at it) to life.

Korean news outlet ET News, citing industry sources, reported over the weekend that Samsung has already delivered foldable displays to Apple.

The displays would be 7.2 inches, very close in size to the displays on the Galaxy Fold, which Samsung released earlier this year at Unpacked.

Samsung has also supplied displays for Apple iPhones in the past, which used its OLEDs before switching to LG in June 2018, according to an Apple Insider report. Apple isn’t the only company that may wind up using Samsung’s folding displays —Samsung has also reportedly reached out to Google about some day incorporating the tech into the Pixel lineup.

Apple has some foldable smartphone-related patents of its own, but may still source from Samsung Displays. 

Patently Apple 

A Foldable iPhone by 2020?

Apple’s history of product development has been deliberate and measured, meaning foldable smartphones could be a long ways off. In 2019, Apple reportedly follow a similar path to 2018, when the company released the iPhone XS and XS Max alongside a more budget-friendly variant known as the iPhone XR which packs the XS’s features into a slightly cheaper package with an LED screen.

In 2019, it appears that Apple is still looking to lower price points and camera tech to be the selling points for its new products. Apple COO Jeff Williams also alluded to pricing concerns at a recent talk he gave at Elon University in North Carolina, which was recently reported by the Times News.

“The stories that come out about the cost of our products [have been] the bane of my existence from the beginning of time, including our early days,” Williams said in the talk. “Analysts don’t really understand the cost of what we do and how much care we put into making our products.”

Accelerating a move to foldable displays is unlikely to make future iPhones any cheaper: Samsung’s Galaxy F starts $1,980, while other folding smartphone concepts are said to be selling for even more. Huawei’s Mate will also boast a foldable display, according to a tease at the Mobile World Congress, and will start at $2,600. For its part, Apple has patented a few foldable phone concepts in the past, but there’s nothing to suggest there are plans for a release before 2020.

It would make sense that other manufacturers would be interested in Samsung’s display, which was early to the space. The company spent some $130 million developing the Fold’s unique display, which uses a series of interlocking hinges to allow it to fold into a kind of booklet. It’s a concept that was first teased all the way back in 2013.

Assuming you were in the market for some foldable smartphone components, Samsung would almost certainly be your first phone call. 

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