Apple could finally be working on a foldable iPhone to rival Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6, and it's on the hunt for helping hands — three manufacturers currently fighting to provide bearings despite production concerns, says supply chain source

Iphone Fold Concept
(Image credit: ConceptsiPhone)

After much anticipation and many rumors, Apple could be finally working on a foldable iPhone in 2024, as it looks like manufacturers are competing for the ability to provide a crucial part of the device. 

A recent PatentlyApple report cites an article from United Daily News that we couldn’t personally verify. Patently Apple says that the report details how Apple is reaching out to three manufacturers, New Nikko, Zhaoli, and Fusia, in order to test their bearings on the device.

According to that same article, Fusida and Zhaoli both have experience in mass-producing bearings, whereas New Nikko doesn’t. Where the latter does have experience is in building AirPods and MacBook cases. It is yet to be seen what the outcome of this competition is just yet but whoever wins may get a huge surge of business if the foldable iPhone makes its way to market. 

Don’t get ahead of yourself — iMore’s take

Though this is a step in the manufacturing process and a sign of the potential of the Apple foldable iPhone as it’s worth the costs of putting it together, it is still not confirmation that the foldable iPhone is actually happening. Testing is an important part of research and development and, as a previous report shows, the foldable iPhone is not the only foldable device Apple is working on. With Samsung equipping them with screens, Apple is currently researching a 20-inch foldable device in between a MacBook and an iPad

Of course, both of these devices could exist at the same time but it might muddy Apple’s lineup to have multiple iPhones, a foldable iPhone, multiple iPads, MacBooks, and Macs, alongside a brand-new 20-inch foldable tablet. Talking to manufacturers is how Apple will work out what a device feels like and, perhaps more importantly, if production is feasible on a grand scale. 

If all goes well, there’s a need for it in the market, and it can make a substantial enough profit from each device, we may finally see an Apple foldable phone hit the market. With Motorola, Samsung, and Google all with foldable phones, it’s got some heavy competition to go against though. 

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James Bentley

James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person. 

With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer. 

As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.