android

Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 would be amazing if they weren't so flawed. Photo: Samsung

The just announced Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Fold 4 are the clearest evidence that Apple is correct to hold off on releasing a folding iPhone. Flexible screens still come with too many problems to be acceptable in an iPhone.

Of course, that hasn’t stopped Samsung from releasing handsets with these drawbacks.

Folding iPhone is the future

People clearly want bigger phone screens. Apple’s largest model is one of its best selling while its smallest is dud. That’s why the 5.4-inch iPhone mini is being replaced with a 6.7-inch iPhone Plus.

But a 6.7-inch display is about as large as a practical handset can be. Any bigger and you’re carrying an iPad mini around everywhere.

The best way to continue increasing the screen size is with folding displays. With one of these in a handset, Apple could (theoretically) put an 8.3 inch display into a device the same length and width as the current Pro Max. They’d have a mini computer that’s both an iPhone and an iPad.

But the technology is not yet ready for an iPhone Fold. Too many problems with folding displays remain. Not that these serious drawbacks prevent Samsung from making its own foldable handsets.

Samsung displays marred by a crease

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Even demo units of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 have a crease right across the center of the display.Screenshot: Engadget

You only have to look at the newly unveiled Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 or Galaxy Z Fold 4 to see one reason why Apple won’t release its own version with the current technology. There’s a visible crease across the middle of the flexible screen.

Take a look at Engadget‘s hands-on video of the Fold 4 to see the crease. And its preliminary review of the Flip 4 says, “if you’re hoping for a life without creases, it’s not here just yet.”

iPhone users won’t tolerate such an eyesore. Not even to get a 7.6-inch screen in a pocket-size handset.

Jaw-dropping price

As if the crease wasn’t enough, Samsung’s top-tier folding Android is wildly expensive. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is $1,800.

Flexible screens are still cutting edge tech and that makes them expensive. Too expensive for an iPhone. Samsung is willing to use them in pricey niche products with little mainstream appeal, but that’s not the way Apple does business.

The Z Flip 4 starts at $1,000. But that model has a 6.7-inch screen, the same size as the largest iPhone 14 models. There’s no logic in putting up with a crease to get a display no bigger than current non-folding handsets.

Apple undoubtedly exploring folding iPhone

There’s plenty of evidence that Apple is exploring a folding iPhone. For years, its engineers have been getting patents related to flexible handsets. They are working on crease-free displays, hinge designs and bendable batteries, too.

Apple will make an iPhone fold when the hardware and software are ready to make a popular, mainstream device… without a crease or a ludicrously high price.

When it happens, it could look something like this concept from 2021:

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