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Folding iPhone prototype has a big new upgrade, says Prosser

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

What you need to know

  • Apple is said to be testing a new type of glass for its rumored folding iPhone.
  • Jon Prosser states APple is working on a 'chemically strengthened Ceramic shield glass' that can be folded.
  • This is a new type of prototype with one folding display, rather than two joined by a hinge.

A new report says that Apple is testing chemically 'strengthened Ceramic Shield folding glass' in one of its folding iPhone prototypes.

Rumors abound that Apple is planning to release a folding iPhone... well... someday. In December Digitimes said it would be released in 2022, the only noted detail would be that the iPhone would use a flexible OLED display. Serial Apple leaker Jon Prosser has previously stated that Apple's 'foldable' iPhone isn't really foldable, but is rather two separate display panels joined with a hinge similar to the Microsoft Surface Duo.

In a new Front Page Tech video, Prosser has revealed a new update in the folding iPhone saga:

There are two different prototypes for a foldable iPhone. One that is sort of two displays on a hinge, and looked more like the Galaxy Z fold and the other is a clamshell-style flippable device like the Galaxy Z Flip The exclusive update about this story is regarding that dual-screen "thing"... Apparently, they [Apple] are working on a brand new version of that prototype that does in fact use a full Samsung OLED folding panel on that device.

As opposed to two separate displays, Prosser says Apple is now testing an "actual foldable display panel". The tech behind the move is reported to be 'chemically strengthened Ceramic Shield folding glass'. Prosser did however note that folding iPhone prototypes are in their very early stages and that the situation is very fluid. Responding to Prosser's info, display analyst Ross Young noted:

@jon_prosser reported that Apple is working on a foldable version of chemically strengthened ceramic shield. Samsung's foldables already use chemically strengthened glass from SCHOTT. Will be interesting to see how thin ceramic shield glass can be made.The thickness will determine the foldable radius. Thicker glass can be used with the seam laser processed (see LPKF) but it currently changes the appearance of the glass. Apple/Corning working on foldable glass isn't a surprise, but use of ceramic shield is a good update.

Apple's foldable phone remains a whispered rumor at this point, but all the signs point to some kind of prototype is in the works and making the rounds for testing. Whether any foldable iPhone makes it to market remains to be seen.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.

1 Comment
  • From that picture of a foldable, which looks to be like Samsungs Galaxy Fold. That can't happen until Apple changes iOS, its app ecosystem, and the way developers create iOS apps. I am a developer and if there are any iOS developers reading this, then you will know that Apple currently encourages its developers to make separate iPhone and separate iPad apps. Think about! Samsungs Galaxy Fold works because Android and Google encouraged their developers to make one app that supports both smartphones and tablets. How would a foldable i-device that has two apps, which are the same, but support different layouts and screen sizes work on a single foldable device? Are users going to install and run both versions of the same app? How will app continuity work when a user folds from iPhone to iPad, and then folds back again? That works for Android, because its one app that supports both device modes and screen sizes, and its the same one app when folded in any option. Now Apple can still make a foldable iPhone, but that is exactly what it will be, a iPhone that will only run iPhone apps. So it will be a foldable like the Moto Razr, or Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip.