In 2017, there was talk for the first time about the release date of the foldable iPhone. 2020 was mentioned as a possible date. The American manufacturer will probably first introduce a 5G smartphone. The following year will allegedly introduce an iPhone or iPad that you can double fold. It will also be some time before the first 5G iPhone is announced.
The Silicon Valley company usually does its best to keep product innovations secret until the actual introduction takes place. With a revolutionary product such as a foldable iPhone or iPad, more efforts are made to keep the design secret. As a result, we are still in the dark as to what type of foldable Apple smartphone or tablet the company is currently developing. At least, until last week.
Foldable Apple phone
Last week, a new patent from Apple was published in the USPTO database. In this patent, an iPhone with a flexible display was shown. You can expand and expand the smartphone. This is not a design where the smartphone unfolds into a tablet, as manufacturers like Samsung and Huawei seem to prefer. It is a clamshell smartphone design.
Apple is not the only one that seems to opt for flip phone design. Motorola will most likely introduce the same type of smartphone on MWC 2019; this folding phone will most likely be released under the brand name Motorola Razr – you’ll remember those popular clamshells from 15 years ago.
Although LetsGoDigital has now designed several professional renders of folding smartphone models, the folding phone design has not yet passed on our site. That’s why today we bring the foldable Apple iPhone with a clamshell design, as shown in the USPTO patent that was published last week.
Foldable iPhone with a clamshell design
Just like any foldable smartphone, the device can be folded in and out. It is striking that no bezels are shown on the patent images; it seems to be a full-screen smartphone. In addition, I must mention that Apple always uses significantly simpler patent sketches than most competitors. We do not expect Apple’s first foldable iPhone to be completely bezel-less. Unless the company is waiting for years for its introduction, of course …
You can operate the mobile device with one hand by choosing an elongated telephone design in an open folded position. It is striking that the smartphone can bend in two directions. The device can be folded in, after which you have an almost square telephone at your disposal that you can easily carry in your pocket.
You can also bend the flexible display of the Apple iPhone backward, allowing you to position the foldable smartphone as a stand. So it is theoretically possible to use the smartphone with two people at the same time. For example, one looks at a YouTube video while the other checks his mail.
The cameras are placed in the upper part of the housing, as is clear from the patent description. However, the documentation does not focus on the number of cameras. For our 3D renders, we opted for a single front camera and a double camera at the rear. This configuration will be used by more smartphone manufacturers, and so is the general expectation. Incidentally, the positioning of the dual camera will probably be on the top left side of the device instead of on the right, as seen on our renders.
At the bottom, there is space for a connection to charge the device. It is as yet unknown which connector will go exactly. The iPhone XS and XR models are still equipped with a Lighting cable. However, it has been discussed for some time that Apple would intend to use USB Type C. With the Apple iPad Pro – which was introduced later than the iPhones – this fast and multifunctional connection can be found. It is possible that Apple will make the same choice for future iPhone models.
Foldable smartphones on MWC 2019
Unfortunately, it will take a while before Apple fans can buy a foldable smartphone. Tomorrow the first Samsung foldable smartphone will be officially introduced; this is probably the Galaxy Fold. However, this is not the only folding Android phone that will be exhibited at MWC 2019.
Because although Apple will shine in its absence, all other renowned manufacturers will show new product innovations at the world’s largest trade show for the mobile telecom industry. At the end of the week, Huawei will demonstrate its first foldable smartphone; this device will also support the 5G network, as the Chinese manufacturer has already announced. Motorola also opts for an introduction to the Mobile World Congress, which is reportedly a foldable clamshell smartphone, just like the foldable iPhone.
For LG, Oppo and Vivo it is still too early for an actual introduction. However, Oppo will release more details about its foldable telephone; whether this also applies to the other two manufacturers is as yet unknown. The Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi has already given a preview of its model last month, Xiaomi immediately opts for a double foldable display. This device is undoubtedly the most stylish.