Ten years ago Apple was at the forefront of smartphone innovation. The iPhone fundamentally changed what it meant to be a smartphone, but these days it seems to take a more reserved approach to things. Unless those things include trying to kill off analogue audio. So it makes sense that Apple probably isn't going to release a foldable phone in the immediate future.
As we're all well aware by now, Samsung has been working on a foldable phone for quite some time, and it's expected that it will be released sometime early next year. January, if the latest batch of rumours are to be believed. Analysts have been saying Apple is likely working on a folding device of its own, ready for a 2020 launch, but new sources speaking to The Korea Times claim that this isn't the case:
“Apple is attempting to release new iPhones with enhanced features next year and it is eyeing developing foldable iPhones, which will come several years later.”
2020 might seem like some sort of far off futuristic date, but it's only 18 months away, and a far cry from the "several years" quoted by the sources. Taking a slow approach is probably for the best, though, given all the challenges associated with developing a phone that folds properly rather than relying on a hinge. You also have to consider whether such a device will sell, with Samsung reportedly limiting the number of Galaxy Xs to gauge consumer interest. And that makes sense given the rumoured $2,000 price tag attached to the phone.
Whether holding back is based on technological constraints, seeing what the competition do, or both, it kind of makes sense for apple to hold back. People buy plenty of iPhones already, and there's no need to rush a folding phone out into the market if it isn't ready. [Korea Times via Ubergizmo]