New reports suggest that Apple is working on its own version of an OLED display panel that already sees use in the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, potentially indicating that foldable iPhones, iPads and even Macs could be on the way.
As reported by The Elec, the tech giant is developing an OLED panel that doesn’t use a polarizing layer, which would allow the panel to be thinner and better-optimized for the creation of a foldable device.
The polarization of a device’s screen helps enhance the display’s visibility by restricting light to travelling through certain directions, instead of blurring or bleeding across the screen. However, the use of such a layer also reduces the panel’s brightness, thereby necessitating greater battery power.
For its own non-polarized OLED panels used in the Galaxy Z Fold 3, Samsung swapped a separate layer for the printing of a color filter directly onto the main TFE (thin film encapsulation) layer.
As for whether all of this means foldable devices could be in Apple’s plans, this seems to be the implication of The Elec’s report, although it’s also worth accounting for the possibility that Apple is simply interested in the technology to help it make thinner devices.
Still, the longstanding rumors of a foldable iPhone would surely indicate we shouldn’t dismiss the chances of that happening, either.
Seasoned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo did say last month that Apple was testing a nine-inch foldable device, but added that it wouldn’t be ready until at least 2025. So, if we were you, we wouldn’t bet too much money on the prospect of a foldable iPhone 14 or even 15.