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Prediction: Apple will unveil a foldable iPhone in the 2020s

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After the recent debut of the massive iPhone XS Max, The Economist made this tongue-in-cheek graph showing progressive growth in the size of each iPhone model over time. Extrapolated into the future, it suggests that iPhones will be almost as big as the iPad Mini tablet by 2025.




Obviously, iPhones can't get too big, or else they won't be able to fit in standard-sized pants pockets. However, that doesn't mean the trend will stop. I think it means an iPhone with a foldable interior screen will be unveiled in the 2020s. In fact, Samsung is already working on such a device: 




If we envision folding phones as being structured like simple manilla folders, the phones will have two screens:

1) A relatively small, non-bending screen on the "front cover' of the manilla folder. 

2) A large, flexible screen spanning the whole interior of the folder.


Users will carry these phones "folded up" most of the time, and will primarily use just the non-bending "front cover" screen. On rarer occasions, they would unfold the phones and use the larger, inner screen. 


Foldable smartphones will make mini-tablets obsolete, and probably eat into market share for the standard-sized tablets as well. The popularity of tablets has already stalled. 




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By the 2020's? Definitely. It depends on how soon in the decade we get them, however. I think 2021 might be a good estimate, due to having to develop the technology and test it.


In fact, I think Apple is probably in the prototyping stages for the tech, but it won't replace the main line of normal phones, at least not for a while. They're most likely taking a Samsung approach.

We are either completely screwed or we are not. That's just how it is.




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So, in other words, Samsung will develop the technology, but Apple will be the ones to profit and take credit for it? Yeah, that actually sounds about right, but I'm sure with the Apple version, it will be really user friendly. 


I'm sure they will become foldable at some point. I think OLED technologies will play a role in this, but also I think Apple still has time to go to a smaller process node with their processor.


Anyways, as far as Apple phones are concerned, what actually has me a lot more excited is the possibility of smart glasses, taken to a whole other level, which apparently, they are already working on. 



    Democratic Socialist Materialist

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Assuming the general shape of the phone is two rounded rectangles with a hinge along one long side It might make more sense to have the screen wrapped round the outside of the phone? This would give a less sharp bend in the screen compared to the inside. plus the phone would end up with just one screen (instead of paying for 2)


Of course if they don't have a properly foldable screen and just have a hinge, the inside would make more sense. 

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