Home iPhone Flip: Release date, specs and everything we know so far

iPhone Flip: Release date, specs and everything we know so far


  • Apple is delaying the iPhone Flip, focusing on quality rather than being first to market.
  • Patents reveal Apple is exploring various foldable designs, including a self-healing screen.
  • The iPhone Flip could release between 2025-2027, possibly priced from $1,200 to $2,000.

As flip and foldable smartphones become more and more popular in the smartphone market, it’s surprising that we’re still waiting for Apple to throw its hat in the ring with its own iPhone version.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, Galaxy Z Fold 5, Google Pixel Fold and Motorola Razr+ are just some of the leading phones in this corner of the smartphone market right now and, as things stand, Apple are quite happy for that to remain the case. For now.

Why hasn’t Apple released a flip phone yet?

Apple are never too bothered about being first to market with their products. It’s always about quality. They’d rather be last to market with the best product and, perhaps, this is why they’re taking so long with the iPhone Flip.

We can safely assume there won’t be an iPhone Flip this year, with the iPhone 16 models coming later in 2024.

Regardless, here’s what we know so far.

iPhone Flip: What we know so far and rumors

From patent leaks, foldable glass samples, Apple Pencil compatibility suggestions and loads more, rumors centered around the iPhone Flip do appear to vary depending on the source.

However, it’s fair to say they all point towards Apple doing its best to ensure its version of the flip phone is not only the best on the market, but also breaks new ground when it comes to design, durability and quality.


In February 2019, Apple filed patents with the US Patent and Trademark Office that showed various designs for a foldable handset. Some included large internal displays with single folding hinges, while there was also one that included two hinges, three displays and a Z-shaped folding style.

Furthermore, in March 2020 a patent was discovered which suggested Apple may be considering a foldable with two displays, separated by a single hinge. This particular patent also made reference to “joint operating mode” which allows for a single screen to be joined by a magnetically connected secondary display. This points us towards Apple thinking of a foldable tablet, but we can’t be sure.

Leaker Jon Prosser further fuelled reports of an upcoming iPhone Flip on Twitter in June 2020.

Another leaked patent, unearthed in in 2018 by PatentlyApple, shows a device with a foldable display that doesn’t completely fold half-and-half, but instead leaves a small strip at the bottom for things like notifications and other information (below).

(Image: USPTO)

Therefore, it’s quite clear Apple are toying with various design ideas and are seemingly leaving no stone unturned in their quest to find the right design to enter the market with. The first iPhone Flip patent leak was unearthed in 2016 and eight years on, we’re still no closer to anything concrete.

Screen & Display

This is arguably where Apple is facing its biggest challenge. One of the biggest obstacles is the visible display crease in a foldable handset. Apple, with their notoriously high standards, are understandably investigating ways in to eradicate it.

The glass and plastic mix that Samsung uses for the Z Fold and Z Flip models shows a visible crease when folded out and, as Samsung makes a large amount of iPhone displays, Apple are likely not convinced they can do it with their help. A report in May 2024, though, suggested Apple had signed a pact with Samsung Display for a foldable device.

Corning, Apple’s glass provider, would need to create a bendable version of its Ceramic Shield screen in order for Apple to achieve what we think they want to achieve but, while they are already working on it, there’s no official launch date for it yet.

It may mean, though, that if a fix for the fold can’t be found, Apple may opt for a dual display device with a single central hinge.

But in May 2024, Design Boom reported that Apple had filed a patent for a foldable device that would have a self healing screen, which is designed to fix minor dents and scratches on its own and without the user’s help. This process uses things like heat, light or electric current to speed up the self-healing process.

In terms of size, there are different reports here, too. According to a report by The Information, Apple halted plans for an iPhone Flip around 2020, as it pivoted attention towards a folding iPad with an 8-inch display. This is further backed up by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Meanwhile, one leak suggests the display is likely to be 7.3-inch or 7.6-inches across. Elsewhere, there are also rumours that it could be nearer 7.9-inches and that the foldable display could be on the outside of the handset, like the Huawei Mate Xs 2, and would likely be a large enough display for Apple Pencil compatibility.

Features & Specs

One recent patent won by Apple details a self-preserving mechanism, which will enable the hing to close mid-drop and, in turn, protect the screen from damage.

Apple is also toying with plans to use a color e-ink display on the outside of the handset. That would go along way in preserving battery life.

From a specs perspective, we should naturally expect nothing less than 5G support, strong battery life and high end processing capabilities.

Software and Capabilities

This would all depend on whether Apple opts to launch with a phone or a tablet for their first foldable device.

If it’s an iPhone, we should expect it to come with the latest iOS at the time of release, but with additional capabilities for a foldable device. If it’s a tablet, we should expect the same but for it to be the latest iPadOS when released.

iPhone Flip: Release date rumors

As we’ve already alluded to, there is no concrete release date but we expect to see the iPhone Flip, or some kind of alternative in 2025 or later.

We do know that we won’t see anything this year as Apple have already confirmed the iPhone 16 series will be released in late 2024 and we would’ve already heard about their plans for a foldable by now.

So it’s really still a guessing game at the moment as leakers and experts do their best to unearth more and more information about what we can expect and when to expect it.

Given Apple’s clear indecision surrounding design and format, and their search for a crease-free display, it might be safer to expect something in 2026 or later. But you just never know with Apple.

How much will the iPhone Flip cost?

This will be determined by how Apple eventually approaches the design and the materials and technology they use.

If it opts for a small foldable then it may be priced similarly to something like the iPhone 15 Pro Max ($1,199) but, if they go for a handset that is larger, has new technology and/or can be both a phone and a tablet, then it’s more likely to enter the market around the $2,000 price point, much like the Galaxy Fold when it debuted.

They could launch with both – a premium version alongside a cheaper model. We may then see both handsets fall at either end of the pricing spectrum.

Featured Image: iPhone Flip concept design by Technizo Concept/LetsGoDigital

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

James Jones

James Jones is a highly experienced journalist, podcaster and digital publishing specialist, who has been creating content in a variety of forms for online publications in the sports and tech industry for over 10 years. He has worked at some of the leading online publishers in the country, most recently as the Content Lead for Snack Media's expansive of portfolio of websites, including Football Fancast.com, FootballLeagueWorld.co.uk and GiveMeSport.com. James has also appeared on several national and global media outlets, including BBC News, talkSPORT, LBC Radio, 5 Live Radio, TNT Sports, GB News and BBC’s Match of the Day 2. James…

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