A recent report by Taiwanese website Economic Daily News claims two prototype foldable iPhones have passed internal durability tests.
The report says tests of folding hinge systems on two different iPhone models have been completed at the Foxconn factory in Shenzhen, China.
The first version is said to be a foldable dual-screen model, which likely resembles the dual-display prototype rumored by leaker Jon Prosser back in June 2020. Prosser claimed that the model used two separate display panels connected by a hinge. Prosser said that while the device used two separate displays connected by a hinge, the panels looked “fairly continuous and seamless.”
A second prototype that has undergone testing is a clamshell foldable model, somewhat like Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip or Lenovo’s Moto RAZR. The report claims the clamshell model uses a flexible Samsung OLED display. There have been previous reports of Apple ordering a “large number” of Samsung foldable mobile phone display samples for testing purposes earlier in 2020.
The report doesn’t clearly state whether the two tested devices have different hinge systems. The test units are purported to be shells containing extremely limited internals rather than fully-working devices. This is because the testing was limited to the durability of the Apple-designed hinge system.
EDN says with the testing being complete, Apple will now evaluate which of the two foldable models to proceed with for continued development.
UDN predicts that a foldable iPhone will not emerge until late 2022 or 2023 at the earliest. Apple has multiple patents on foldable devices.