Folding displays for iPhone & MacBook Pro are the focuses of a new Samsung business group

Posted:
in iPhone edited December 2023

Samsung Display has undergone an organizational shuffle that should help the Apple screen supplier provide foldable displays for not just an iPhone, but a MacBook Pro too.

A render of a possible folding Apple device
A render of a possible folding Apple device



Apple has been rumored to be working on the so-called "iPhone Fold" for quite some time, a smartphone with a hinged display that can fold in half. In South Korea, it appears one of Apple's display partners is preparing itself for orders.

In a Monday report by The Elec, Samsung has performed an organizational reshuffle that chiefly affects a team that handles supplies for Apple. The shake-up of the team is allegedly to focus on improving its capabilities, specifically with Apple's foldable in mind.

The small and medium-sized display division handles smartphone OLED and foldable panels, including development for the flexible screens. This division is now being strengthened to work more on making foldable devices more mainstream.

Samsung Display, along with fellow supply chain member LG Display, is already working on panels for future foldable products from Apple. The report says this includes one measured at 20.25 inches.

While an iPhone with a flexible display is going to get the most attention from the public, it's not the only product that could arrive with similar technology.

Rumors from early 2023 claimed Apple had shifted plans for its first foldable MacBook Pro, with expectations of a release sometime in 2025. Rather than using the typical notebook-style keyboard and trackpad, it would instead be an all-screen device like an iPad, but with a touchscreen keyboard for input.

Having already released a fifth-generation foldable smartphone, Samsung is already quite experienced with the production of the component. The shuffling of teams within Samsung Display to bring foldable product and panel development within the same team may help Samsung retain its lead, or build upon it.m

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 61
    The HP Spectre Foldable is a really nice concept. I would like it if Apple refined the form factor and came up with something similar. 
    https://www.hp.com/us-en/shop/pdp/hp-spectre-foldable-17-cs0097nr
    9secondkox2
  • Reply 2 of 61
    Personally, there's no way I'd buy an iPhone fold. Aside from the fear that the constant folding/unfolding of the screen will eventually cause issues, the phone would end up being about twice as thick as an iPhone is now, which isn't appealing to me. I do like the idea of a foldable MBP, where the lower portion is a keyboard when folded at 90 degrees and then a full screen tablet when laid flat, but its gotta run OSX and not iOS.
    9secondkox2jony0
  • Reply 3 of 61
    I see no need for this.  It was a gimmick when motorola and samsung did it long ago.  
    williamlondonradarthekat9secondkox2jony0
  • Reply 4 of 61
    Not what I’m looking for in a phone or laptop. 

    Samsung may want to sell them. Doesn’t mean apple should buy them. 
  • Reply 5 of 61
    The main reason Apple doesn’t have folding screen products? The current technology sucks. I want a folding phone and a folding laptop screen, but not if that means distracting creases and early failures.
    A sure sign the technology is ready for a good product is when Apple releases one. Just look at the pathetic current offerings in folded screens, who buys this overpriced garbage?
    9secondkox2
  • Reply 6 of 61
    Unless they can cut the size (volume) of the folding phone in half, I'm not interested.

    A folding screen almost certainly means double the size and weight, along with a high rate of failure since bending the screen places great stress on it.
    9secondkox2
  • Reply 7 of 61
    What problem does the foldable iPhone solve again?
    9secondkox2jony0
  • Reply 8 of 61
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,548member
    602warren said:
    Personally, there's no way I'd buy an iPhone fold. Aside from the fear that the constant folding/unfolding of the screen will eventually cause issues, the phone would end up being about twice as thick as an iPhone is now, which isn't appealing to me. I do like the idea of a foldable MBP, where the lower portion is a keyboard when folded at 90 degrees and then a full screen tablet when laid flat, but its gotta run OSX and not iOS.
    Have you seen how thin folding phones are getting? 

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/bensin/2023/07/19/inside-the-production-line-behind-the-worlds-thinnest-foldable-phone/?sh=69cb5dd56fe1
    9secondkox2muthuk_vanalingam602warren
  • Reply 9 of 61
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,548member
    geekmee said:
    What problem does the foldable iPhone solve again?
    Doubling the screen size while not losing portability. 

    Multi-tasking with side-by-side apps. 

    More immersive gaming. 

    Options to use the main camera for selfies. 

    Option to use main camera view for subjects to see themselves. 

    And of course the option of the best of both worlds in screen options (folded or unfolded). 

    Apple will definitely use all of these points in marketing if they release a folding phone. 

    9secondkox2muthuk_vanalingamgregoriusm
  • Reply 10 of 61
    All of the folding phones from the knockoff brands are junk, for sure. That being said, I won’t make a pre-determination about a potential Apple product, because I know their implementation and value proposition will not be the same as the knockoffs’. Same story we’ve seen time again — not first, definitely best.
    danoxwilliamlondonmuthuk_vanalingamgregoriusmjony0
  • Reply 11 of 61
    geekmee said:
    What problem does the foldable iPhone solve again?
    Breaking the dmnd thing in half every time it misbehaves. Oh wait, I was thinking of an Android phone.
    9secondkox2roundaboutnow
  • Reply 12 of 61
    avon b7 said:
    geekmee said:
    What problem does the foldable iPhone solve again?
    Doubling the screen size while not losing portability. 

    Multi-tasking with side-by-side apps. 

    More immersive gaming. 

    Options to use the main camera for selfies. 

    Option to use main camera view for subjects to see themselves. 

    And of course the option of the best of both worlds in screen options (folded or unfolded). 

    Apple will definitely use all of these points in marketing if they release a folding phone. 

    These suggestions notwithstanding, there really isn't a compelling use case for a folding iPhone. "Ooo look! It folds!" is good for about twenty minutes of very expensive amusement, but Apple has never been a bells and whistles sort of company. If a folding screen comes from Apple, it's most likely to be an iPad, where greater portability for a larger device could be useful, and a second screen on the outside of the device isn't needed as would be the likely case for a folding phone. 
    tmay9secondkox2williamlondonjony0
  • Reply 13 of 61
    geekmee said:
    What problem does the foldable iPhone solve again?
    Samsung’s problem that they’re out of ideas. 
    9secondkox2lordjohnwhorfin
  • Reply 14 of 61
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,902member
    Foldable screen Macbook Pro ? Why ? You know Macbook touch-strip story ! Added and removed because most users did not want and hated it. I rather see iPhone with complete glass slab and no or fewer holes/ports.
  • Reply 15 of 61
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 1,066member
    Ugh…this again. Slow day for apple related news. There hasn’t been one real solid use-case (one that justifies the amount spent on R&D to bring this to the mass market) for this feature in a phone. If one currently exists, it would be a very niche one. And I don’t believe we need to flood the market with another product that has both a larger & smaller form factor than already exists. 
    9secondkox2
  • Reply 16 of 61
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,548member
    AppleZulu said:
    avon b7 said:
    geekmee said:
    What problem does the foldable iPhone solve again?
    Doubling the screen size while not losing portability. 

    Multi-tasking with side-by-side apps. 

    More immersive gaming. 

    Options to use the main camera for selfies. 

    Option to use main camera view for subjects to see themselves. 

    And of course the option of the best of both worlds in screen options (folded or unfolded). 

    Apple will definitely use all of these points in marketing if they release a folding phone. 

    These suggestions notwithstanding, there really isn't a compelling use case for a folding iPhone. "Ooo look! It folds!" is good for about twenty minutes of very expensive amusement, but Apple has never been a bells and whistles sort of company. If a folding screen comes from Apple, it's most likely to be an iPad, where greater portability for a larger device could be useful, and a second screen on the outside of the device isn't needed as would be the likely case for a folding phone. 
    I think it's safe to say that we are now beyond the novelty effect as the market has spoken. People want larger devices in a smaller form factor. 

    Almost five years into the folding era demand is still growing with the main thing holding folding phones back being price. 

    A folding tablet will inevitably arrive along with probably triple folding devices.

    Scrollable devices will achieve the same goals. 


    gregoriusm9secondkox2muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 17 of 61
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,548member
    All of the folding phones from the knockoff brands are junk, for sure. That being said, I won’t make a pre-determination about a potential Apple product, because I know their implementation and value proposition will not be the same as the knockoffs’. Same story we’ve seen time again — not first, definitely best.
    "junk, for sure"? Really? 

    How many have you used? 

    How many have you read about? 

    "Implementation"? "Value proposition"?

    You are talking about a company that made its users suffer the 5W charger for a decade. The same company that sat on Lightning for a decade with no real improvement at all. The same company that has lagged the industry by years in terms of many of the most wanted features. From 5G, battery charging, battery chemistry through to almost every aspect of camera hardware. The same company that deliberately eliminates the most wanted storage options from its hardware in the name of 'upsell'. The same company that held back user customisation options in iOS, only to eventually cave in.

    Please take a peek into the real world. 

    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 18 of 61
    The problem with foldables is manifold:

    1) no matter how good the tech is, polymers bending over time will wear it out. This isn’t Liquid Metal. 

    2) cost. You’re adding screen estate, hinge mechanisms, and possibly another screen to be used on the front when the device is folded. It’s expensive to add these things. With very little to gain. “Oh. My phone is bigger now. Golly gee.” another $500-$1000 for that? Nope. 

    3) it doesn’t solve anything. In fact, it creates problems of price, complexity, and reliability/longevity. Water resistance goes to poop, etc. But it solves nothing. Much better to buy a rock solid phone and a rock solid tablet that excel at what they are. But a phone that unfolds to be a small tablet? Rather have an actual tablet. 

    Ultimately the ROI on these types of products suck. And that’s why they haven’t taken off. Microsoft pretty much gave up already. Because it’s just not that great a thing. 
  • Reply 19 of 61
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,548member
    The problem with foldables is manifold:

    1) no matter how good the tech is, polymers bending over time will wear it out. This isn’t Liquid Metal. 

    2) cost. You’re adding screen estate, hinge mechanisms, and possibly another screen to be used on the front when the device is folded. It’s expensive to add these things. With very little to gain. “Oh. My phone is bigger now. Golly gee.” another $500-$1000 for that? Nope. 

    3) it doesn’t solve anything. In fact, it creates problems of price, complexity, and reliability/longevity. Water resistance goes to poop, etc. But it solves nothing. Much better to buy a rock solid phone and a rock solid tablet that excel at what they are. But a phone that unfolds to be a small tablet? Rather have an actual tablet. 

    Ultimately the ROI on these types of products suck. And that’s why they haven’t taken off. Microsoft pretty much gave up already. Because it’s just not that great a thing. 

    1. Wear. It's a mechanical part like a connector, keyboard, screen hinge etc. The point isn't the wear but the amount of wear and if it's a problem for you or not. 

    2. Cost. Cost is a barrier to everything. The market will determine if the cost is worth it. For me, it isn't (at least at this point in time) but I could put a folding phone to good use. That said, folding phones are seeing huge growth and evermore entries from new players in the folding space. 

    Cost didn't stop Apple introducing the Touch Bar on Macs with even less to gain and it's about to release a multi thousand dollar device to a miniscule market. 

    3. It solves all the issues I mentioned earlier on. Water resistance is appearing on folding devices. Waterproofing is another question but a non-issue even on slab phones. Completely unneeded in statiscal terms and not even guaranteed on those phones. 

    If they haven't taken off (we'd need to define taken off first) it's because they are still expensive for most people. That hasn't stopped massive YoY growth though and prices are coming down as a result. 

    https://www.gsmarena.com/omdia_honor_shipped_the_most_foldables_in_china_during_q3-news-60736.php


    muthuk_vanalingamRespite
  • Reply 20 of 61
    avon b7 said:
    602warren said:
    Personally, there's no way I'd buy an iPhone fold. Aside from the fear that the constant folding/unfolding of the screen will eventually cause issues, the phone would end up being about twice as thick as an iPhone is now, which isn't appealing to me. I do like the idea of a foldable MBP, where the lower portion is a keyboard when folded at 90 degrees and then a full screen tablet when laid flat, but its gotta run OSX and not iOS.
    Have you seen how thin folding phones are getting? 

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/bensin/2023/07/19/inside-the-production-line-behind-the-worlds-thinnest-foldable-phone/?sh=69cb5dd56fe1
    I had no idea they had gotten so thin. I was genuinely imagining two iPhones stacked on top of each other for how thick it would be. 
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