Fold iPhone conceptSource: Rene Ritchie / iMore

What you need to know

  • Apple is reportedly developing a new type of OLED panel.
  • It doesn't have a polarizer so would be better for foldable devices.
  • The same tech is used in the Galaxy Z Fold 3, and could one day debut in a folding iPhone.

A new report say that Apple is developing its own version of an OLED panel used in the Galaxy Z Fold 3 that is more optimal for folding devices, possibly paving the way for a folding iPhone, iPad, or even a Mac.

As reported by The Elec:

Apple has begun the development of an OLED panel that doesn't use a polarizer, TheElec has learned.

The removable of the polarizer on the panel will allow them to be made thinner, which makes them more optimal for foldable panels, sources said.

As the report notes the polarizer improves the visibility of a display but lessens brightness. Usually, phone makers increase the brightness to offset this but this has a negative impact on the lifespan of the display. Samsung Electronics uses the same technology in an OLED panel supplied by Samsung Display for the Galaxy Z Fold 3. If Apple is working on its own version of the tech it could make a folding iPhone of the future a much more realistic prospect.

Reports indicate Apple is at least considering adding a foldable device to its lineup of best iPhone, but the development seems to be some years away, so don't expect a folding iPhone 14 this year or even next year.

Ming-Chi Kuo said in April that Apple was testing a 9-inch foldable device that wouldn't be ready until 2025 at the earliest, which could be an iPad, or a hybrid tablet and phone. Jon Prosser has also previously reported that Apple has settled on a clamshell folding device akin to the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip line.

Apple is even reportedly working on a MacBook with a foldable display in lieu of a keyboard.

The company is expected to unveil a new iPhone later this year that will eschew the 'mini' iPhone form factor in favor of another larger 'Max' model without Pro features such as a new processor or 120Hz display.

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