Apple working on a foldable iPhone to launch in 2020, says top analyst

The dream of carrying a foldable iPhone that doubles as an iPad mini 4 seems a little more realistic today, with another top Wall Street analyst now predicting the idea will come to fruition.

"Our checks also suggest that Apple is working with suppliers on a foldable phone (that potentially could double up as a tablet)", said Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Wamsi Mohan to CNBC

It's intended "for launch in 2020," he says. Apple is just one of many smartphone manufacturers that could be rushing to embrace the foldable smartphone future.

Samsung's rumored to be making a foldable Samsung Galaxy X, while Lenovo, Huawei, Sony, and LG are all reportedly following suit with similar smartphone plans. 

ZTE actually launched the dual-screen ZTE Axon M in late 2017 in an effort to be the first modern handset on the market with a foldable design. It's unlikely to stop there, with intentions to create a more seamless second version.

What a foldable iPhone could do

We haven't seen a new iPad mini in several years, but a foldable iPhone could give us that same large screen, close to 7.9 inches, and make it pocketable like an iPhone X.

That would be ideal for movie and television show watching with a big display on a train or airplane, but portable enough to stow and carry when walking to work.

While several companies have registered important patents for foldable phones, the future of the idea comes down to components, including the screen and battery.

We've learned from sources that the science isn't quite there for a flexible display that's durable enough to withstands so many bends. By 2020, that could change.

Matt Swider