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Sketchy rumor claims Apple has given up on folding iPhone

The 'iPhone Fold' is expected to take design cues from existing Apple products

A muddled and entirely unverifiable rumor claims that Apple has been testing other manufacturer's folding phones and decided to put the iPhone Fold on hold.

Following reports that Apple is working on two prototype ideas for a foldable iPhone, a new claim says it isn't. The claim from a leaker on Chinese social media site Weibo says both that Apple is accelerating its research, and that it has also given up for now.

Weibo user Fixed Focus Digital, explains that Apple has bought several existing folding phones to test. Perhaps the report is unclear because of machine translation, but it seems to say that at least one of these rival phones broke within a few days of Apple buying it for testing.

Fixed Focus Digital goes on to say that Samsung's folding screen isn't able to meet Apple's requirements. It's not clear whether this is still in a rival folding phone or another part of Apple testing.

It's no surprise that a folding phone will fail under testing, because they will specifically be tested to the point of failure. That Apple would conclude it wasn't worth pursuing the idea if Samsung, for instance, can't make an unbreakable folding phone seems less likely.

Nothing in the report can be verified and Fixed Focus Digital does not appear to have any track record in Apple leaks.

Separately, Apple has a history of patents regarding aspects of a folding iPhone, including one regarding a screen that will not crease in use.

It's now almost five years since Samsung launched its Galaxy Fold phone, although initial reviews concentrated on how the screen was fragile. Apple has arguably been under pressure to compete ever since, and Samsung has improved its designs.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted a 2024 launch for the iPhone fold, but other sources predict it being announced in 2025. It's also possible that Apple is instead looking to replace the iPad mini with a folding iPad.