Apple needs an iPhone Fold, now that Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is here

The year 2023 belongs to foldable smartphones. After the latest addition of Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5, we believe Apple needs to jump on the bandwagon and come out with an iPhone Fold too.

| Updated on: Jul 27 2023, 19:36 IST
The Tecno Phantom V Fold
An iPhone Fold is a natural evolution of the technology ecosystem Apple has spent more than a decade building. (Shaurya Tomer/HT Tech)
The Tecno Phantom V Fold
An iPhone Fold is a natural evolution of the technology ecosystem Apple has spent more than a decade building. (Shaurya Tomer/HT Tech)

Foldable smartphones are having a moment of their own. Perhaps, the year itself is theirs for the taking. Yesterday, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and the Galaxy Z Flip 5 were unveiled by the company at its Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event, making it the fifth company after Oppo, Honor, Google, and Motorola to launch a foldable smartphone in just 2023. And that is because the foldable technology is finally starting to come together. The displays are getting more durable, the hinges better, and the optimization is on the way up too. And nobody wants to miss out on the biggest innovation in smartphones since bezel-less display. Except Apple. However, it is about time Apple should really get on this bandwagon and bring in an iPhone Fold. Will it happen? Do note that Apple is good at ignoring all that is going around it - just see how it is treating all the hype around AI. Having said that, it does not mean Apple should shun the foldables forever.

For the first time since the inception of folding smartphones, we are witnessing the technology maturing to a point where it is now functional, instead of being a gimmick. Now, folding smartphones do not come with a long list of ‘do nots' to protect the fragile glass display, and the hinge does not make it fold awkwardly. Smartphone makers have even dealt with the crease problem.

Companies have also begun understanding this. Besides the names we mentioned above, OnePlus is also looking to enter the foldable space with its rumored OpenPlus Open, and Realme with its rumored Realme GT 2 Fold. Xiaomi and Vivo also have their own foldables in the market and are likely to bring a successor soon. The only company that remains missing from the scene is Apple — and we sort of know why.

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Why Apple has not entered the foldable race

Apple has never really been about introducing new technology for the sake of it. That's why it did not add the always-on display till iPhone 14. For Apple, the playbook is refinement instead of packing a bunch of exciting new features and technology together. It likes to take its time till the technology has been polished enough for it to be announced.

And that makes sense. In today's time, Apple has set itself apart from Android smartphones due to its focus on simplicity and elegance. When you use the iPhone, you do not have to think too much or look for things in different places. It is all there in front of you, and all it takes is a few intuitive steps to get the task done.

However, acknowledging this, we still believe that Apple needs to launch an iPhone Fold. And we have some compelling arguments.

Why Apple should bring iPhone Fold

The iPhone Fold is a natural progression for Apple. The iPhone innovation cycle has started to slow down. We saw that the iPhone 13 series did not receive many major upgrades compared to the previous generation, and bar the dynamic island and the always-on display, the same applies to iPhone 14 as well. We do get the iterative upgrades to the processor and cameras, but nothing that is reminiscent of iPhones of the olden days. As the company strives for innovation, a foldable is the right area for it to play around with. And that's just talking about the hardware. When it comes to software, Apple already has all the pieces necessary to build its foldable.

The company has its own operating system that is connected to the point that you can pinch and pull a file on your iPhone and then drop it to your Mac (provided those are kept next to each other and are on the same network), in one fluid motion.

Apple is also the only company that has a well-optimized OS for its iPad, while Android is still struggling to build that. With a connected ecosystem and well-optimized OS, we feel that Apple is in a prime position to offer the software experience that can make people fall in love with foldables.

And finally, do remember that with its foldables, Samsung is looking to compete even with the iPhone 15 and grab a big chunk of the market that is with Apple at the moment - it already has the premium Galaxy S23 out there fighting for the consumers' mind space.

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First Published Date: 27 Jul, 19:35 IST