Leaker: 'Too many compromises' for foldable iPhone, but work is ongoing

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

What you need to know

  • Apple is reportedly still considering a foldable iPhone.
  • Leaker @dylankdt says Apple still isn't convinced about the market or whether it can make a device that wouldn't be a regression.

A folding iPhone feels like something that will surely happen eventually, but for now, one leaker says Apple believes there are "too many compromises" in play and is instead "playing the long game." For now, attention turns to iPhone 14.

Foldables have been done and done well by the likes of Samsung and others, but Apple appears to be less than certain about whether a folding iPhone would meet the standards of its customers. According to leaker @dylandkt, Apple is instead prepared to watch the competition make mistakes as it works to formulate its own plan.

For those who are curious about a foldable iPhone, Apple is definitely working and testing multiple prototypes that contain foldable displays. Too many compromises still exist with foldable display technology though.

The leaker continues, saying that there are concerns within Apple that the foldable market might not prevail, perhaps similar to 3D TVs and other fads. Apple may instead feel that its mixed reality headset will take over where iPhone leaves off — time will tell on that one.

For now, Apple will watch from afar.

There are also concerns as to whether foldable smartphones will continue to have a place in the market or will fall into obsolescence. Therefore, Apple is intent on carefully observing the market and improving upon the mistakes of their competitors.

For Apple to make sure that it can make the best iPhone possible, the leaker says the company will ensure a foldable version isn't any kind of regression, although it isn't clear what that could mean. Is it possible Apple isn't keen on the idea of switching to a plastic or super-thin glass display in order to make the device bend in the middle, for example?

While other manufactures are iterating on products that are seemingly in beta, Apple is keen on making sure that the design is not a regression from the current form factor of the iPhone. They are interested in playing the long game to see how the technology progresses.

As ever, time will tell, but given this particular leaker was on the money with the recent MacBook Pro and other tidbits, they might have something here, too.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

  • I really don’t get the foldable phone idea. I mean, in its current form, the iPhone is near perfect. I pick it up, look at it, and its already ready to go. I don’t want to have to unfold it every time, then close it back up to put away. All so the screen can be a little bigger, but much more fragile? I saw the Samsung ones recently in a T Mobile store, and I just don’t get it. I really hope Apple doesn’t waste time on this which could be better put towards ideas that will enhance the user experience rather than hamper it.
  • Then you never really looked at Samsung's foldable devices. The Z Fold 3 is a 2 in 1 foldable device that is both a smartphone with a large 6.3" putter display. But it also has an inner tablet 7.6" display with pen support as well. If you can't see the value in a device like that, then you are blind. The flip type foldable's are the other type of foldable that you do have to open up more, but it depends on who's flip type device you looked at. The Moto RAZR is the better of the two types of flips because you don't have to open it up as much, because it t has a larger outside display compared to Samsung's Z Flip 3 tiny outter display.
  • Interesting the render assumed that Apple would have a foldable phone but retain the notch.