Apple’s glass supplier says it’ll be ready for real, durable foldable iPhones within ‘a couple of years’

“Foldable phones like Samsung’s Galaxy Fold and Huawei’s Mate X are coming, whether you’re ready or not. In fact, they’re coming whether they’re ready or not. The software remains untested or nonexistent. The prices are either astronomical or unannounced. But those potential issues can be fixed on the fly,” Brian Barrett reports for Wired. “The real thing you should hold out for? Glass.”

“Glass is strong and durable and hard to scratch and easy to see through to the bright and shiny OLED pixels below. Glass can even fold, probably further than you’d think. But it can’t flex far enough for smartphones that open up like books. At least, not yet,” Barrett reports. “The early folding phone manufacturers are leaning on plastic polymers… But plastic is also, as you may by now have guessed, worse at all kinds of things. It’s much less hard than glass, which makes it easier to scratch and ding up. And unlike glass, plastic will crease over time, leaving you with a large unfolding display, sure, but one bisected with an unsightly wrinkle.”

“‘The fact that you’re touching [that kind of display] with your nails is scratching it,’ Motorola executive Dan Dery told Engadget in a recent interview, about a plastic film cover his company had prototyped. ‘It has a short life right away; it starts dying the day you unpack it,'” Barrett reports. “Which means that foldable smartphones won’t be ready until glass is ready. Fortunately, that may be sooner than you’d think. Corning is working on ultrathin, bendable glass that’s 0.1 millimeters thick and can bend to a 5 millimeter radius… [John Bayne, who heads up glass giant Corning’s Gorilla Glass business], expects foldable glass to be ready by the time foldable smartphones go mainstream, say a couple of years. Mauro thinks Corning and competitors like Japan’s AGC may be even closer than that. But the important thing for you to know is that it’s not here now. Until it is, maybe spend that $1,980 on something a little more fully baked.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We can’t wait for the real life usage reports to start appearing with these half-baked alpha-gen. foldable jokes from Samsung, Huawei, et al.

Originally, iPhone was equipped with a plastic display. But during his testing, Steve Jobs found the display scratched too easily in daily use.

Six months before the launch of the iPhone, Jobs reached out Wendell Weeks, CEO of Corning Glass. Weeks mentioned a unique approach to glass they had developed in the 1960s that he called “Gorilla Glass.” Jobs asked for all the Gorilla Glass Corning could produce in the next six months. When Weeks said that there was never any production line for the glass, so that would be impossible, Jobs replied, “Don’t be afraid. You can do this.” He repeated this to Weeks several times, insisting that Corning’s glass must be in the first iPhone to be launched in six months.

It was.

If and when Apple debuts a foldable iPhone, they’ll be showing the world how it should be done and what to copy going forward. As usual.MacDailyNews, February 27, 2019

As with fingerprint and facial recognition, when Apple debuts a foldable iPhone, then foldable smartphones will have been done right. — MacDailyNews, January 17, 2019

We’ll see a mess of weird attempts before Apple shows how it’s to be done, as usual.MacDailyNews, January 23, 2019

Apple patent application reveals foldable iPhone with self-heating display, lock-out mechanism to protect against cold weather damage – February 28, 2019
If Apple does a foldable iPhone, then folding phones will have been done right – February 28, 2019
Apple has been working on folding iPhones for years – February 27, 2019
Woz can’t wait to get a folding iPhone, is optimistic about Apple’s future – February 27, 2019
Huawei’s new foldable ‘Mate X’ smartphone starts at $2,600 – February 25, 2019
Concept design envisions what a foldable iPhone would look like – February 23, 2019
One of the main problems with Samsung’s Galaxy Fold is that it doesn’t really fold – February 22, 2019
Most analysts expect Apple to wait until 2020 to offer a foldable iPhone – February 21, 2019
Samsung announces foldable 4.6- to 7.3-inch ‘Galaxy Fold’ phone with giant off-center notch, starts at $1,980 – February 20, 2019
Xiaomi reveals dual-folding smartphone prototype (with video) – January 23, 2019
Samsung’s foldable Galaxy phone will cost ‘twice the price of a premium phone’ – January 18, 2019
Lenovo planning to resurrect Razr as a foldable $1,500 cellphone – January 17, 2019
Corning’s bendable Gorilla Glass glass could shape the foldable phones of the future – December 6, 2018
Can foldable phones help Samsung copy Apple? – November 7, 2018
Apple granted a second patent for a folding iPhone with flexible hinge – October 16, 2018
Apple gets 49 new U.S. patents including a foldable iPhone and an iPhone design invented by Steve Jobs – September 4, 2018
BoA Merrill Lynch: Apple is prepping a ‘foldable’ iPhone; U.S. and China trade tensions not an issue for Apple – March 23, 2018
Apple seeks patent for a foldable iPhone – November 28, 2017
Apple teams up with LG Display for foldable iPhone due to concerns over tech leaks to Samsung – October 11, 2017
Apple, LG Display discuss OLED display deal for 2019 – September 7, 2017
LG Display to supply OLED panels to Apple – July 31, 2017
Apple to invest $2.70 billion in LG Display’s OLED production – July 28, 2017
Apple and LG Display plan to derail Samsung’s OLED expansion plans – July 25, 2017
LG Display to invest $3.56 billion in flexible OLED plant – May 30, 2017
Apple patent details foldable iPhone – January 26, 2017
Apple granted U.S. patent for bendable or foldable iPhone using advanced carbon nanotube structures – November 1, 2016
Apple is granted another patent for new flexible handset design – November 22, 2016


  1. Still don’t care. this is yet another “feature” that is not needed. If folding somehow makes it smaller, look for a smaller phone. After its folded, it still going to wind up being thicker in your pocket than the average phone today more than likely, and reliability over the long run will probably go down, back in the “good old days” I used to have a Razr, when through a couple of them were hinges failed. So I just don’t see where this is an innovation.

  2. What is the point of a bigger square screen if all the content is wide. Are we really taking about foldable bigger phones or foldable smaller Tablets

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