Foldable iPhone Rumors: ‘iPhone Flip’ Pushed Back to 2025 – CNET

Foldable iPhone Rumors: ‘iPhone Flip’ Pushed Back to 2025 – CNET


Apple’s foldable iPhone, which could be called the iPhone Flip, may look something like these renders by YouTuber ConceptsiPhone. 


New foldable Androids have trickled onto the smartphone scene in recent years, from Motorola’s Razr reboot to Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 3. But despite introducing a variety of new devices in 2021, Apple hasn’t hopped onto the foldable trend. Although we’ve heard rumors of an upcoming handheld possibly called the iPhone Flip, a new report suggests that a foldable iPhone might not debut until 2025.

Read moreThese Phones Could Be Coming in 2022, and They Already Look Exciting

We’ve been following reports of a foldable iPhone for years. Way back in 2017, it was predicted that a foldable iPhone could be coming in the futuristic-sounding year 2020. Obviously, that didn’t happen. Analysts and leakers have been kicking the release date down the road ever since, and rumors and wish lists have simmered. Here’s everything we know so far.

Now playing: Watch this: Apple’s foldable may be coming later than expected


Release date: The iPhone Flip launch is a moving target

It seems to be an open secret that Apple has its sights set on a foldable iPhone. The company has been registering patents for foldable mechanisms and devices for almost a decade now with no launch date in sight. The question is whether any of them will ever see the light of day, and if so, when? 

The most recent rumors come from reliable display analyst Ross Young, who says the foldable iPhone has been pushed back to 2025.

Early rumors pointed to 2021 as a potential target date, but the year has since passed with no foldable iPhone in sight. A March 2021 report from longtime Apple analyst Ming Chi Kuo (via MacRumors) suggested 2023 might be more realistic, if it ever happens. According to Kuo, Apple still needs to figure out technology and mass production issues before bringing a device like this to market, hence the wait. Speculation later in 2021 from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman aligned with Kuo’s predictions: In his Power On Newsletter, Gurman said that the foldable iPhone may not arrive for another two to three years.

Read more: Top Foldable Phones for 2022

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Design: What will the foldable iPhone look like?

The 2023 timeline would match up with a report from Bloomberg last year that indicated Apple already has a working prototype of a foldable iPhone display. While it’s not yet a working model, it’s a step up from a patent which, until then, was all we had seen. 


This illustration, according to Apple’s patent filing, shows a “device that bends along a flexible portion such as a flexible seam associated with a hinge.”

Apple/US Patent and Trademark Office

Apple seems to have taken out every patent under the sun when it comes to foldable displays, including an origami-style folding display, a flip-up display and even a wraparound display. And while we don’t know which one will make the final cut, both Kuo and Bloomberg seem to agree that the current prototype is more of a traditional foldout design that would open up to a 7.5- or 8-inch main display

Unlike Microsoft’s Surface Duo, which has the hinges on the exterior, Apple’s would have one continuous display with a hidden hinge mechanism like the Galaxy Fold. 

However, Apple leaker Jon Prosser reported in early 2021 that the iPhone Flip will likely use a clamshell design and come in several “fun colors.” Between the flashy purple iPhone 12the new blue and pink option for the iPhone 13, an array of fun colors for Apple’s first foldable device is definitely a possibility.

YouTuber ConceptsiPhone also gave us a glimpse into what the iPhone Flip could look with concept art of the foldable iPhone in the colors blue, red, gold and green.

Roadblocks: What still stands in Apple’s way? 


Corning is working on bendable glass for foldable phones. 

Richard Peterson/CNET

While Samsung and others have been testing the waters, Apple has been learning from the pain points of their foldable devices and figuring out how they’d be used.

One of these pain points: the crease. A lot of the current cover materials, including the glass and plastic mix that Samsung uses for the Z Fold and Z Flip, show a visible crease when folded out to full screen. To avoid it, Apple would likely have to wait for Corning, Apple’s glass provider, to create some kind of bendable version of its Ceramic Shield screen. The company is already working on a bendable glass, but hasn’t announced a launch date for it. 

Cost: Foldable phones don’t come cheap

Price is another major problem for these types of devices. Although Samsung lowered the price for its most recent foldable phones, its previous model, the Fold 2, cost $2,000 which is over twice the price of Samsung’s other flagship phones. And, a foldable iPhone wouldn’t be any cheaper. Apple’s foldable needs to be in line with current foldable and nonfoldable models to be able to compete against other brands and entice iPhone users to ditch their single-screen devices and pay more for a foldable.

A report in April found that half of American consumers are interested in buying a foldable phone, though Apple customers are slightly less willing to make the leap than Samsung or LG users. But perhaps the “Apple effect” will change those stats if and when a foldable iPhone ever becomes reality.

For more, check out everything we’ve heard about the iPhone 14 and iPhone SE 3. You can also take a look at our guess for the next Apple event

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