Apple has started work on a foldable phone, and itâ€™s begun prototyping foldable screens internally, according to Bloomberg. A final device is likely still years away, the report says, and Apple is working on just the display for now â€” not the rest of the phone it would attach to.
The initial prototypes sound similar to the foldable screens weâ€™ve seen used by Samsung, Motorola, and others. Bloomberg says Apple is looking at making foldable screens with a â€œmostly invisible hingeâ€� that could unfold to around the size of the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The report says that several screen sizes are being discussed, however.
Apple hasnâ€™t publicly indicated any interest in making a foldable phone, though the company rarely signals its interest before entering a new product category. Major competitors have a head start on foldable devices, with Samsung and Motorola already releasing multiple generations of folding phones. Samsungâ€™s Galaxy Fold came out in April 2019 (albeit, with some substantial issues).
On a more immediate note, Bloomberg has some updates on Apple products coming in 2021. This yearâ€™s iPhone is expected to have â€œminor upgrades,â€� but one more substantial improvement is still a possibility: an in-screen fingerprint sensor. Bloomberg already said back in 2019 that Apple was looking into the feature for as early as 2020, and itâ€™d be an obvious addition in 2021 since the wide adoption of face masks has seriously hindered the ability to use Face ID.
Itâ€™s not clear how likely in-display Touch ID is to ship in 2021 (Apple tends to have iPhone features locked well in advance of production), but Bloomberg says Apple is â€œstill testingâ€� the tech for inclusion this year. On a worse note, Bloomberg also says that Apple has discussed removing the Lightning port in favor of wireless charging on â€œsomeâ€� iPhone models.
Appleâ€™s long-rumored Tile competitor, AirTags, are finally planned to launch this year, Bloomberg reports, and the iPad Pro could be refreshed with a Mini LED display. A thinner entry-level iPad is reportedly in the works as well.
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