Foldable phones could be the newest trend among major distributors in the next two years.
Apple is reportedly working on a foldable iPhone with Asian partners, Bank of America Merrill Lynch told CNBC. The completely new design could be ready for release as early as 2020.
It’s still unclear how this new phone would look, but it sounds like it will unfold to be an iPad. YouTuber ZONEofTECH said Apple could also be looking into a phone that folds around your wrist, becoming a watch.
Senior analyst Wamsi Mohan met with Apple suppliers on Friday and told his clients about the new phone design.
“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,” Mohan said. “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.”
Apple first got on track to build foldable iPhones when it debuted the iPhone X, which is built using a flexible OLED display. It’s possible Apple could use the same material to make a screen that folds into itself, according to CNET.
Only citing anonymous sources, a Korean media outlet reported last October that Apple was teaming up with LG and planning to order foldable OLED panels that could start production in 2020.
Apple isn’t the only phone distributor looking into the new technology, either. Samsung and Lenovo have already demoed phones with foldable screens and other companies have filed patents. Samsung’s version could hit shelves as early as this year.