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Apple reportedly suspends foldable iPhone testing after display issues

Foldable iPhone
Foldable iPhone concept

It seems fans may have to wait a little longer for a foldable iPhone. According to new rumors from China, Apple has put its plans for a foldable smartphone on hold after display samples failed to meet the company's strict quality standards.

Apple has been exploring foldable display technology for several years as part of its research into new form factors. Early prototypes included iPhones that folded inward like a clamshell. Samsung, a key supplier for Apple, provided early foldable display samples as part of this testing process.

However, recent rumors suggest that Apple was not satisfied with the durability of Samsung's panels. Sources say that after just a few days of testing under Apple's lab conditions, iPhones with the foldable displays began to exhibit problems such as screen cracking. This fell far short of the best-in-class reliability Apple requires.

As a result, Apple has reportedly paused further development of a foldable iPhone for the foreseeable future. The company will not rush a foldable to market until the display technology can consistently pass its tests.

This is in line with previous reports that a foldable was not planned until 2024 or 2025 at the earliest. According to display firm Display Supply Chain Consultants, Apple "appears to be in no rush to enter the foldable smartphone market, and it may even take longer than [2025]."

Interestingly, the company's broader foldable device ambitions may not be completely stalled. Rumors suggest that Apple remains more interested in a foldable iPad format, which could involve a thicker design better suited to withstand the stresses of folding compared to a pocket-sized phone.

Earlier reports showed that it could be a notebook with a full-size keyboard when folded and an external monitor when unfolded, making it a dual-use product. So Apple seems pretty optimistic about the potential of the whole foldable display technology.

Source: Weibo (Chinese) via 91Mobiles

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