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Apple is reportedly developing a new category of products called foldable smartphones and/or tablets. This suggests that the Cupertino-based tech giant is preparing to compete with its Android peers in the segment, which has faced increasing competition from new brands entering the market recently. Apple is yet to officially announce its entry into this segment and previous reports on the matter also hinted that the company is still in the research and development phase and is not ready to launch any time soon. However, the company is known to have encountered difficulties in this process.

Weibo user Fixed Digital Focus (translated from Chinese) claimed in a post that Apple has purchased several foldable smartphones from rival brands for disassembly and is “speeding up research and development.” The informant added that the project has now been halted due to screen tests failing to provide satisfactory results.

Since the display is one of the key elements of a foldable device, it is likely that the release schedule of the foldable product will be accelerated. Apple doesn’t have its first foldable device in the company’s mass production plans for 2024 or 2025, according to previous leaks, and could launch in 2026 or 2027.

Previous leaks also suggested that Apple is working on prototypes of at least two clamshell-style foldable iPhone models, which are expected to compete with Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip handset. The clamshell foldable model is equipped with an internal display that folds horizontally.

Apple is also said to be developing a foldable smartphone with a screen size of 7.6 to 8.4 inches, which is larger than any foldable smartphone currently on the market. The report pointed out that it could be a foldable smartphone or tablet. This rumored model will reportedly replace the iPad Mini, which will be new in 2021 and feature an 8.3-inch Liquid Retina IPS LCD panel.

Samsung Electronics launched the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5 along with the Galaxy Tab S9 series and Galaxy Watch 6 series at the first Galaxy Unpacked event in Korea. In the latest episode of Orbital’s Gadgets 360 podcast, we discuss the company’s new devices and more. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, and wherever you get your podcasts.
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