Apple to release a foldable iPhone by 2020, report

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Following reports that Samsung and Huawei both have patented a foldable smartphone, now Apple is also reportedly working on a foldable iPhone to be released within two years, a Wall Street firm said today. Bank of America Merrill Lynch says Apple is working with Asian partners to make a whole new iPhone design, as reported by CNBC.

An analyst wrote a note to users recently after meeting several Apple suppliers in Asia. “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 wrote, “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.”

Previously, a Korean media outlet reported that Apple was teaming up with LG, but that report only cited anonymous industry sources. It stated that Apple would order foldable OLED panels that could start production in 2020. We’ve reached out to Apple for comment.

Just recently Bloomberg has posted a comprehensive report claiming that Apple is working on touchless gesture screens for upcoming iPhones as well. Apple has already filed a patent for “touchless screen” which it has been working for over a year now. In addition, Apple is also working on iPhone display that curves inward “gradually from top to bottom,” unlike Samsung’s smartphones that curve down and away at the edges of the screen.

Samsung and Lenovo have already demoed phones with foldable screens, but neither have actually released such a device on the market. Given the patents and demonstrations out there, it seems like foldable screens could be the next form factor.

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