The crease on the foldable iPhone could be less visible thanks to Samsung’s ‘thicker’ solution

The crease on the foldable iPhone could be less visible thanks to Samsung’s ‘thicker’ solution

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Apple has a lot of catching up to do. Namely, in these two areas. Okay, in three areas, with the third being a bonus:

  • AI advancements
  • Foldable iPhone
  • Not being a cult (it’s the weekend, cheer up!)

Apple’s hesitation to explore these areas seems odd.

Is that deliberate? Or, could it be that the Cupertino giant just plays a different game? Could it be that Apple is just… waiting patiently for the right moment to come?

There’s a loyal Apple base that praises everything – and I mean every single thing – coming from the fruit company. Also, there’s a crowd that automatically rejects anything with the Apple logo on it and disregards it as heresy.

On the first topic, Apple is expected to announce some funky fresh AI features for iOS 18 at WWDC 2024 in June, their must-see developer conference.

Also, the iPhone 16 is expected to bring some AI goodies to the table. Rumors are swirling about Apple potentially striking a deal with OpenAI to integrate ChatGPT into the iPhone. Additionally, there are whispers that the Cupertino tech giant is in talks with Google to utilize its Gemini AI models. This raises the intriguing question: will Apple choose one of these AI partnerships, or perhaps opt for both?

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The AI world is vast and wonderful. The proof is Google’s latest I/O conference, which was all about AI for the whole two hours. I’m not exaggerating – AI this, AI that for 120 minutes. Those of us at PhoneArena who were anticipating a Pixel 9 teaser (or Android 15 details, for crying out loud!) were left high and dry.

That being said, I’m not going to talk about AI anymore (I promise).

Instead, a news piece about Samsung (of all things) got me thinking about the second area that Apple seems reluctant to explore – the possibility of a foldable iPhone.

Tech-savvy PhoneArena readers, of course, are not surprised at all by mentioning Apple, Samsung, and “foldable iPhone”, all in the same sentence. Mere days ago, we told you about Samsung reportedly signing a deal to supply Apple with foldable displays.

Now, however, there’s further development.

Samsung’s role in the foldable iPhone

It seems Samsung successfully persuaded Apple about the durability of its foldable displays. According to a report, Apple and Samsung have inked a deal, suggesting that Samsung will provide displays for an upcoming foldable Apple device that could be a folding MacBook or a book style folding iPhone.According to the report, Apple is purportedly exploring two different internal screen sizes for the foldable iPhone: 7.9 inches and 8.3 inches. Notably, the internal screen of the Galaxy Z Fold 5 measures at 7.6 inches.

What’s new and how this could help Apple

Foldables are cool and flashy, but not without problems. One of the most requested improvements from users is the reduction of screen crease visibility.

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Samsung may finally be ready to address this concern with the Galaxy Z Flip 6.

According to a report, Samsung has decided to use a thicker Ultra Thin Glass (UTG) on the Galaxy Z Flip 6‘s foldable screen. Compared to the Galaxy Z Flip 5‘s UTG, which has a thickness of 30 microns, the Galaxy Z Flip 6‘s UTG is claimed to be 50 microns thick. This increase in thickness is expected to make the screen crease less visible and improve the display’s durability.

Apart from reducing the visibility of the screen crease, improved durability is also a positive change. Since foldable phones are new and have many moving parts, higher durability will always be welcomed. If this information is accurate, Samsung will finally be able to compete with foldables from Chinese brands, which are already crushing the game.

The report also claims that the Galaxy Z Flip 6 will use the same waterdrop hinge as the Galaxy Z Flip 5.

So, pretty convenient, don’t you think? Just as Samsung’s foldables are about to get better and address the crease visibility (let’s hope that report is accurate!), Apple is about to join the party and get Samsung parts for a foldable iPhone (potentially).

What a coincidence!

More on the foldables’ creases

Screen creases are a common issue in foldable smartphones due to the mechanical stress of repeated folding and unfolding. As the display bends, the materials used in the screen experience stress, leading to visible lines or creases at the fold.

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Thicker UTG, like the 50-micron glass rumored for the Galaxy Z Flip 6, can distribute this stress more evenly, potentially reducing the prominence of the crease. Additionally, advancements in hinge design, such as the waterdrop hinge, allow for a gentler fold radius, which also helps in minimizing creases.

In the future, screen creases could become less noticeable through several innovations. Manufacturers might develop even more flexible and durable materials that can withstand frequent bending without showing wear.

Nanotechnology could play a role, with nano-coatings or nano-engineered layers that resist creasing. Furthermore, improved hinge mechanisms that reduce stress on the screen, combined with software optimizations that dynamically adjust pixels around the fold area, could make creases almost imperceptible.

Apple’s hesitance

I think Apple is desperate about releasing a phone that can flip (or fold).

This delay, however, is likely strategic, as Apple often waits for new technologies to mature before integrating them into its products. By observing the market and advancements made by competitors, Apple can identify and address the shortcomings of current foldable technology.

The company might be waiting for significant improvements in screen durability, crease visibility, and overall user experience before launching its own foldable device.

“It’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes”, as Warren Buffett would say. Although, I’m kind of sure that somebody in the Roman Empire two thousand years ago said the same thing.

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