Apple's foldable iPhone is once again tipped to show up in 2022

iPhone 12 Pro Max
The unfoldable iPhone 12 Pro Max. (Image credit: Apple)

Rumors that Apple is working on a foldable iPhone – which may or may not be called the iPhone Flip – have been swirling for almost as as long as foldable phones have existed, and it looks like 2022 is a good bet for actually seeing the device get launched.

The latest prediction comes from Asia IT publication DigiTimes, which has been known to be accurate in its Apple soothsaying in the past. We wouldn't quite bet your entire life savings on this one coming to pass just yet though.

DigiTimes does have some solid figures to back up its speculation though: increased production of OLED displays and in particular flexible OLED displays manufactured by Samsung, which could possibly make their way into a foldable iPhone in the future.

After a somewhat shaky start, Samsung is now putting out top-quality, reliable folding phones like the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and the Galaxy Z Flip with increasing regularity. There's even talk of a folding device taking over from the Galaxy Note series in the near future.

Fold rush

Apple is a little more conservative than Samsung when it comes to experimenting with form factors, but company executives may now feel that they've given Samsung enough of a head start – and that the technology is robust enough for mainstream adoption.

There seems to be little doubt that Apple is at least thinking about launching a folding iPhone: it's been filing patents around the technology for more than a year now. Whether or not an iPhone Flip ever makes it to production is another matter, but one or two are apparently now on the drawing board.

Just don't expect a folding iPhone to show up next to the iPhone 13 in 2021. DigiTimes isn't the only source to suggest 2022 is the year for the Apple smartphone with the bendable screen, as other reports have suggested the same sort of schedule.

There's also talk that the upcoming foldable iPhone is going to replace the iPad mini in the Apple hardware line-up, as both devices would have a screen around the same size (the iPad mini has a 7.9-inch display). Watch this space.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.