Foldable iPhone: Apple tests E Ink displays

May 17, 2022 - 17:42
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Foldable iPhone: Apple tests E Ink displays

It's only a matter of time before an iPhone folds. Apple cannot allow Samsung to monopolize the new folding screen or double screen forms, which, despite not achieving large sales because of their expensive cost, are being followed by an increasing number of consumers with each new generation that enters the market.

And it is that Apple is not immune to industry trends. It has innovated in the smartphone market like few others, but it has also been "inspired" like the rest when a trend appears on the horizon in the search for novelties that boost sales.

We've seen it with increasing the screen size of its terminals, hastening the launch of 5G, and promoting "small" versions to cut pricing.

Secondary screens with OLED or LCD panels are common in existing foldable phones. Although these technologies provide the same resolution and responsiveness as the primary screen, they are more expensive and consume a lot of battery power.

According to renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is testing e-ink screens, which are far more efficient due to their low power usage. According to a recent tweet by Kuo, Apple is testing E Ink EPD panels with the intention of employing them as the cover/secondary screen of its foldable smartphones.

These screens are prevalent in eBook readers, but they are also used in other devices for non-mission critical activities such as showing the time, notification alerts, and other secondary functions. Its underlying strength is what Apple seeks: high energy efficiency.

E Ink launched a new color e-ink display called the Gallery 3 last month, featuring a faster refresh rate that allows input from styluses. It's unclear whether Kuo is referring to this panel when he mentions Apple's testing, although it's not impossible.

It should be noted that speculations of a folding iPhone first surfaced in 2017, immediately after the existence of an Apple patent for this market area was revealed.

Apple hadn't chosen the final design, but it pretty much covered all the form factor options: clamshell; with two or three screens; folded inwards or outwards, and with both internal and external device screens.

Everything points to Apple going with a "Flip" design for its first folding iPhone. Outside of Apple, no one knows when it will be released. What is certain is that it will be beneficial to this format.

Meanwhile, Samsung, a market leader, is hard at work, and the Galaxy Z Fold4 is projected to be the next generation of the greatest folding phone on the market.