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Apple is working on folding iPhone 'which could transform into an iPad'

12 October 2017

Apple is hoping to break its dependence on Samsung's OLED screens by deepening its partnership with LG.

Samsung has been dabbling in foldable displays for years, and it'll be exciting to finally see the culmination of those experiments.

APPLE IS WORKING on a foldable OLED phone with LG Display, the display-making arm of the LG Group, according to sources speaking to The Bell in Korea (English version via The Investor). The report further points out that LG Innotek is also prepping flexible printed circuit board or RF PCB for the foldable iPhones.

Samsung has not yet made any moves to commercialize the flexible OLED displays, however, which may be why Apple knocked on the doors of a different smartphone company: LG.

This report follows the rumours from July that suggested Apple's plan to apparently invest as much as $2.6 billion in support of LG's new OLED plant (a deal that hasn't been finalized as of yet).

A display which folds completely in half could see a new generation of smartphones which fold open to the size of small tablets, although it is yet to be seen if such a mechanism would be compact and attractive enough for Apple's notoriously high standards.

The report by The Investor, citing industry sources, claims that the panel production will start from 2020.

Engadget notes that once that once Face ID hits iPads and iPhones, it will give developers an idea that facial recognition can be used across multiple Apple devices instead of just one.

According to the latest reports, Apple chose to work with LG on this project. Apple already has a head start in the segment, and the company believes they will be able to maintain an unassailable lead over Android in the segment for the next few years.

Reports of a future iPhone with a foldable display surfaced past year as well when LG Display was said to begin mass-production of foldable smartphone displays in 2018, with Apple being one of the potential partners.

Developing a phone from Apple takes a minimum of 12 months before the device is officially launched and in order to get production underway, key elements of the device such as the design and hardware will be shared with its manufacturing partners.

Apple is working on folding iPhone 'which could transform into an iPad'