- A YouTuber who built a working iPhone from parts and added a 3.5 headphone jack to the iPhone 7 has a new challenge: building a foldable iPhone.
- Scotty Allen introduced foldable screens that can mirror the screen of a regular iPhone. The next step is to make a DIY foldable iPhone.
- Apple is reportedly working on foldable iPhone models, with a new rumor claiming that the first such device will hit the market in 2023.
Apple is working on its own foldable smartphones, like every other company in the industry. Several leaks have claimed in recent months that Apple is testing multiple versions of foldable iPhones. One model supposedly has two displays connected by a hinge, so it does not have a single continuous foldable display. Apple is also testing foldable displays that would allow it to create a foldable case like Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip or a foldable tablet similar to Galaxy Fold devices.
A recent report from a senior Apple insider indicates that the foldable iPhone will feature a 7.5-inch to 8-inch display and launch in 2023. It’s the kind of Galaxy Fold-like device that unfolds in a smaller tablet. But what if someone creates a working foldable iPhone even before Apple?
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If you followed the Strange pieces YouTube channel, so you know who Scotty Allen is. If you don’t, then all you need to know about him is that the YouTuber went to China to build an iPhone from aftermarket in 2017. It’s something anyone has access to. The Internet, has access to China’s huge electronics procurement industry, and a little tech could probably do the trick. But Allen’s most impressive feat was adding a working 3.5mm headphone jack to the iPhone 7. It was the first iPhone to ship without the headphone jack that so many people still miss.
Allen released a new clip a few days ago in which he showed us iOS running on a flexible screen. The whole contraption uses foldable screens that cost around $ 500 a pop and a Raspberry Pi that wirelessly connects to an iPhone to mirror the screen. It’s obviously not a foldable iPhone, but the foldable screen would be the key part of the foldable phone.
As you’ll see in the clip at the end of this article, Allen got two different foldable screens made by Chinese screen maker BOE. The company has been seeking to win Apple’s lucrative OLED business for years. BOE is also supplying foldable displays for the Huawei Mate X2 phone which was just unveiled in China.
Foldable screens can be folded relatively easily. Unfortunately, the thinner is quite sensitive and has a tendency to break.
Unlike his previous hardware iPhone hacks, Allen’s dream of a foldable iPhone might not be possible. The YouTuber explains that getting the foldable screens isn’t enough. He has to find a way to get the screens and the phone to talk to each other. Even if he succeeds, he will still have to find a foldable case and move all the components found in a regular iPhone inside that case.
Considering the type of display he chose, he opts for the “iPhone Flip” design, which would be like the Galaxy Z Flip handset. One thing it could do is move all of the internal parts of a regular iPhone into the Galaxy Z Flip case, but that’s an easier job said than done. I’m only speculating at this point, as Allen has yet to explain what his foldable iPhone might look like.
If Ming-Chi Kuo’s report is correct, Allen has until 2023 if he is to beat Apple.
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