Foldable iPhone rumors return — are we close to actually seeing one?

Foldable iPhone
(Image credit: KJMX)

We've been talking about Apple's rumored foldable iPhone since at least 2020, and it was potentially going to release in 2023, then 2024, and now 2025, maybe later. According to a recent report from The Information (via Business Insider), Apple is currently working on two prototypes of iPhones capable of folding in half.

With Samsung, Google, and other smartphone manufacturers creating foldable phones that sell well, it's no surprise that Apple wants to get in on the action. The Information reported that Apple has reached out to a manufacturer about parts for foldable phones, and also that, according to former Apple employees, the company has been collaborating with LG and Samsung on displays for foldable iPad prototypes.

Only time will tell whether Apple will release a foldable iPhone or a foldable iPad first, but it's fun to dream about the possibilities in the meantime.

When might a foldable iPhone be available?

If Apple is still in the prototype stage for these two iPhones, it could still be a while before the company announces or launches the phones, if at all. A prototype is never a guarantee that the device will ever be made available for sale, but Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is predicting "Apple may launch its first foldable product in 2025 at the earliest, which may be a foldable iPad or a hybrid of iPad and iPhone."

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, on the other hand, doesn't seem to think Apple will release a foldable iPhone any time soon because it's more "focused on larger foldable devices." Regardless of when or if this hypothetical unicorn of a smartphone is released, it's still exciting to think about a foldable iPhone in the works.

Foldable iPhone

(Image credit: USPTO)

We've seen rumors of a few patents from Apple showing what its foldable iPhone could look like, from a strange flip phone design to a nifty way to protect the potential foldable screen from damage. Just like prototypes, patents are never a guarantee that a certain feature will come to a device or that the device will ever be made at all, but they are a clear sign that the company is considering something.

With foldable phone patents from Apple starting in 2016 and continuing to be filed and released through 2023, the company definitely has "foldable iPhones" on the brain. Of course, there's a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes into determining whether a design is viable or even desirable to current iPhone users.

If we get more definitive news, you'll find it in our guide to everything you need to know about the mystical foldable iPhone, but if you're in the market for a new iPhone in 2024 you are probably going to need to stick to the iPhone 15 Plus or check out our new renders of the iPhone 16 based on leaked schematics

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