Get ready for a foldable iPhone, because that’s exactly what one analyst says is coming in 2020. Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Wamsi Mohan says Apple is already working on an iPhone with a foldable screen and has plans to ship it in a couple years.
In a note to investors, Mohan said,
We expect the iPhones this fall to be largely unchanged for the OLED versions although size changes have proved to be a catalyst in the past. Our checks also suggest that Apple is working with suppliers on a foldable phone (that potentially could double up as a tablet) for launch in 2020.”
Assuming Mohan is right, this will be more than simply a flip phone version of the iPhone. Instead, it’ll be a phone with a foldable display that presumably works in folded and expanded configurations.
That fits with his speculation that this iPhone model could also serve as a tablet device, and with long standing rumors that Apple wants a foldable screen for its smartphones.
Considering the foldable iPhone is still a couple years off, assuming it’s real at all, we’ll likely see at least prototype parts leaks soon. Along with a flexible display, we’ll also see foldable circuit boards and potentially foldable batteries, too.
The prospect of a durable foldable smartphone display is in the realm of possibility considering the iPhone X OLED screen is flexible. The edges are wrapped under themselves and protected by the surface glass. If Apple can figure out how to make the display hold up to repeated bending, and stay as durable as current screens, we could see a foldable iPhone at some point.
Apple has a patent describing that kind of technology. That doesn’t, however, mean the foldable iPhone is really only two years away. Apple has a lot of technology to figure out before that happens, and 2020 is coming up fast.
[Thanks to CNBC for the heads up]