Foldable iPhone tipped for iPhone 18 lineup in September 2026 — Sketchy leak claims Apple Vision Pro engineers transferred to the upcoming project

Folding iPhone concept
(Image credit: Future)

A new report claims that Apple’s mythical folding iPhone could debut in September 2026, alongside the iPhone 18 lineup, but there’s good reason to believe it might not be true.  

Korean outlet Alpha Economy (via Android Authority) says that Apple “has finalized the sales date of its foldable iPhone,” and is pivoting workers from Apple Vision Pro to get the project over the line. The exclusive report claims “Apple has finally decided to sell the 2027 foldable iPhone around September to October 2026.

According to the report, an internal source stated “I understand that a significant number of Vision Pro's core personnel have been transferred to the foldable phone development team to develop the foldable phone… Unless the situation changes, Apple's foldable phone will be launched in September 2026… We are starting to sell.” The report also claims Apple expects to sell “around 50 million units” of its foldable iPhone globally. 

Folding iPhone gets a release date? 

Foldable iPhone rumors are as old as foldable smartphones themselves, but the folding iPhone hype train is definitely starting to pick up speed. In what now feels like a lifetime ago, Jon Prosser reported that Apple was fully focused on a clamshell foldable iPhone as far back as 2021. More recently, a massive report from the incredibly reliable outlet The Information revealed that Apple was building two foldable iPhones that are at least two years away

Both of those devices reportedly “fold widthwise like a clamshell,” and would represent “one of the biggest hardware design changes in the product’s history." According to that report, neither phone is on the production docket for either 2024 or 2025, ruling out the iPhone 16 and even the iPhone 17 as prospective launch candidates. As such, this latest 2026 report fits neatly with that timeline. As noted, the report also mentions that Apple appears to be pivoting “a significant number of Vision Pro’s core personnel” for this upgrade. Given that the next version of Apple Vision Pro is at least 18 months away this seems like a plausible move. 

However, one detail in the report should give us pause regarding its overall veracity. Alpha Economy notes a statement of response from Apple which reads “We cannot officially respond about product development, release timing, or personnel reassignment.” The outlet does not have a previous track record of leaking information about Apple, and the idea that Apple would issue any kind of written statement in response to such a report is highly improbable. 

Stories like The Information’s report from Wayne Ma, or Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, almost always note that Apple either did not respond to a request for comment or declined to comment on the report. The idea that large, heavy-hitting outlets with a proven track record of leaking Apple’s plans such as these would not generate a response from Apple but this rather obscure report would is definitely cause for skepticism. Apple’s foldable iPhone remains an enticing and likely realistic prospect for future iPhone launches, but not because of this latest rumor.  

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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. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9

  • FFR
    Reports are claiming that it is already cancelled due to failing foldable displays.

  • Annie_M
    Reflecting on the wording of the title of this post, it seems to me that most leaks end up being sketchy!