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Apple owners would pay up to $600 more for a folding iPhone

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In a recent survey of iPhone owners, interest is fairly high in a folding iPhone, and surveyed users will reportedly pay up to $600 more for it.

In a note to investors seen by AppleInsider, about 35% of consumers surveyed by UBS that already have an iPhone would be interested in purchasing a folding model. Price remains primary, though, with only about a $600 premium attached to the folding functionality by the polled users.

"Price remains the key hurdle in most consumers' minds, while the adequate average premium vs regular smartphones surveyed to be [about] US$400-500," Wrote UBS. "The survey indicates greater willingness to pay a premium (c. $600) and generally higher interest among Apple buyers for foldable products."

UBS predicted that a folding Apple device could arrive as soon as 2020 — but it is not a new revelation. In March, Samsung was reportedly offering folding display samples to Apple.

Apple has been working on the intellectual property for a folding iPhone for some time, with efforts as early as 2015. Furthermore, in February, it patented a heating system to prevent cold weather damage from folding and unfolding a portable device.

The troubled, and soon to be re-released, Samsung Galaxy Fold retails for $1980. The phone it is most similar to, the Galaxy S10+, retails for $999, well more than the survey participants consider an acceptable price increase.

Samsung's seeded review units saw manifestations of creases hinge underneath the 7.3-inch OLED panel after repeated folding and unfolding. Some users noted corrupted graphics that in some cases rendered part, one half or the entire panel completely non-functional. And, a protective layer was misinterpreted as a temporary screen protector and was peeled off by several reviewers — destroying the screen in the process.