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Flip phones based on the iPhone might be released shortly. According to tech news site The Information, Apple has created at least two prototypes of its best-selling smartphone that folds like a clamshell.
According to reports, the foldable version is still in the early phases of development and won't be accessible to Apple customers until at least 2026.
Regarding the parts to be used for the two foldable iPhones, the Cupertino, California-based tech giant has been in discussions with at least one Asian manufacturer, according to The Information.
The project will be completely abandoned if the prototype doesn't live up to Apple's expectations, the article claims. The Post has contacted Apple for a response.
The Galaxy Flip 5 and Galaxy Z Fold 5, two folding smartphones from Samsung that debuted last summer, have better cameras, sharper displays, and more functions for texting, video chatting, and working.
However, a significant portion of users cannot afford it due to the high price point—the Fold 5 costs over $1,800 in the US, while the Flip 5 sells for about $1,000.
A technology industry research company called Counterpoint projects that global shipments of foldable phones will reach 19 million units in 2023—a 45% rise from 2022—largely due to growing customer demand in China.
According to individuals who spoke with The Information, Apple has been considering foldable iPhones and iPads for more than ten years, but the company's leadership isn't entirely on board.
According to the article, in 2018, the company's CEO, Tim Cook, discussed the concept of foldable gadgets with his engineers.
The Information was informed by sources that the business has been reluctant to fully commit to foldable devices because of their high retail price and dearth of desirable features that would entice customers to purchase one.
The Information was informed by former Apple staff members that the business has been developing a foldable iPad prototype in collaboration with Samsung and LG, two other major Korean tech companies.
Apple engineers gave up on creating a foldable iPhone in 2020 and turned their attention to creating a folding iPad that would resemble an iPad Mini.
Since a foldable iPad would be thicker than a foldable iPhone and wouldn't have to withstand the same drops as iPhones, it is thought to be more viable.