Apple is said to have asked Foxconn for help testing the hinge in a foldable model of iPhone.
A commercial foldable iPhone is far from reaching consumers’ hands, but according to a new report from Chinese-language Economic Daily News, Apple is currently in the early phases of testing and the devices could be launched as early as 2022.
Foxconn, the technology giant’s long-term assembly partner, is apparently testing out the folding smartphone and if things go according to plan, we might see it during the third quarter of 2022.
According to the report, Foxconn has been tasked with putting together devices for testing:
According to the supply chain, Apple is intensively developing folding machines. It not only continues to accumulate patents, but also requires Taiwan’s supply chain to send samples for testing, including Hon Hai (2317) and New Nikko , which are partners that Apple relies on for its first folding iPhone.
The report goes on, saying that the display and bearings are of particular interest to Apple:
According to the supply chain, Apple is currently testing key components such as the screen and bearings of the folding machine in order to make the first folding iPhone come out as soon as possible. Samsung will still provide the panel for the screen. There are several suppliers for the bearing, and Taiwanese manufacturers With New Nikko as the main supplier, the assembly is estimated to be handled by Hon Hai, the largest foundry partner.
It’s not only the iPhone that could go foldable — several analysts predict that we will see a foldable 12-inch iPad with 5G support before a foldable iPhone arrives.
In September 2020, Apple was said to have ordered a large number of foldable iPhone screens, and back in June 2020 there were further patents suggesting a foldable iPhone was in the prototype stage.