All of the potential benefits of a foldable iPhone

Fold iPhone concept
Fold iPhone concept (Image credit: Rene Ritchie / iMore)

Foldable phones are nothing new. We had them back in the early 2000s and they've been making a comeback in the world of Android. Samsung has made several folding smartphones at this point and Motorola even brought back a modernized version of the iconic RAZR with 5G connectivity. But one question remains: When is Apple going to release a foldable iPhone?

Honestly, at first, I thought the idea of a folding iPhone to be quite silly. But as there have been more and more flip smartphones out, I'm kind of having that FOMO feeling and wish Apple made a foldable iPhone. However, it seems that we won't get a folding iPhone until at least 2025, at which point, will they even be popular anymore? Who knows, but here are some of my thoughts on why a folding iPhone would be nice to have.

Apple is always last, but usually does it best

Iphone Air Concept Image

Iphone Air Concept Image (Image credit: ADR Studio)

While Apple introduced the original iPhone and changed the entire industry for the better, they seem to have fallen one step behind most Android smartphones nowadays. The same can also be said about the original iPad and the tablet space, as well as the Apple Watch and wearables. Historically speaking, when Apple revolutionizes one product category, others come in and then end up ahead of Apple's own products, resulting in Apple playing a little bit of catch-up.

With rumors saying that it may still be at least another three years before we see a foldable iPhone, Apple will certainly be late to the market, that is for certain. But Apple also doesn't exactly release half-baked products that have growing pains either. After all, do you remember the first Samsung Galaxy Fold that had durability issues with the folding screen itself?

I hope that whenever Apple releases a folding iPhone, it would have worked out all of the kinks and durability issues that may arise with a folding screen. I mean, Apple surely must have been observing what the competition has been doing and will release something that won't have the same flaws, right?

A flipping iPhone would be great for photography

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 Back Flex Hold

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 Back Flex Hold (Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

There are two ways that a folding iPhone can go: a vertical fold, making the iPhone more like an even smaller iPad, or a horizontal fold like the traditional flip phones from back in the day. I personally would like to see a horizontal folding iPhone, because it would make iPhone photography easier in certain situations.

You may be wondering, "How would a flippable iPhone be better for photography?" Well, right now, even with the best iPhone, the iPhone 13 Pro, you need to use something like a MagSafe tripod or mount to truly stabilize your iPhone enough for fantastic Night mode shots or time-lapse videos. However, if you had an iPhone that can fold or flip open, it can literally prop itself up without the need for extra accessories. It would be so much easier for me to get photos by myself, especially at a place like Disneyland, if the iPhone could do this, so I eagerly await a foldable iPhone primarily for this reason.

A folding iPhone would be even more compact

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 Cover Display Pocket

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 Cover Display Pocket (Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

There are definitely people out there who want the smallest iPhone they can get. I honestly would love a smaller iPhone but I also want to have the best camera system there is, which is why I currently use the iPhone 13 Pro. But if Apple made a foldable iPhone, preferably with a horizontal fold like the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3, then it would definitely become the smallest iPhone yet.

I personally prefer smaller devices because of an obvious reason: I'm a woman and I wear women's jeans and leggings. A humongous phone simply doesn't work for me, because I can hardly get my current iPhone in pockets sometimes as it is. If Apple were to create something like this conceptual folding iPhone, then I would absolutely buy that without skipping a beat. While yes, it would mean the device is thicker when folded, that isn't the problem when it comes to fitting it in a pocket most of the time. For me, personally, the problem is the overall length of the device — not necessarily thickness — which is hard to cram into a small pocket.

I suppose this is a personal preference thing, so your mileage may vary, but it's something I want to see.

The evolution of the iPhone continues

When the idea of a foldable iPhone first started floating around, I really thought it would be an unwise idea. But I'm slowly changing my mind about it because I think Apple could do it right, especially if it would be a horizontal fold rather than lengthwise.

After all, the iPhone is constantly evolving — every few years, we get a new design. A folding iPhone would be a huge change, but then again, the iPhone itself was a revolutionary new product to begin with. And maybe Apple could offer a folding and non-folding iPhone to appease everyone, just like they have tiny and huge iPhones in the lineup right now.

Christine Chan

Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed. When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.