A group of phone modders in China have created the first foldable iPhone.
YouTuber Technological Aesthetics kicked off the project aimed to create a foldable iPhone because Apple hasn’t done one yet.
He says that out of the top seven phone manufacturers, Apple is the only one not to release a foldable yet.
To do this, they started with the screen of an iPhone X. Why? Because that screen is already using a flexible OLED, even if the device Apple put it in doesn’t fold.
We know this screen is flexible because Apple told us. Early promotional videos for the iPhone X show a folded-over OLED display to get the bezel-less look Apple wanted.
The modders went through 37 original iPhone screens before they discovered this. That’s a lot of broken displays, all in search of the perfect foldable.
A foldable iPhone exists, but you can’t buy it
Then they had to figure out which hinge assembly to use. Samsung might be the market leader, but their hinges fold too far for the iPhone X’s OLED.
That led to the Motorola RAZR, which provided a hinge that worked without snapping the screen.
Then it was on to making everything else fit into the two smaller halves of the foldable. The team used a smaller battery, removed wireless charging, and one of the two speakers.
The internal structure was reversed, so the battery is now at the top, with the mainboard at the bottom. Parts were 3D printed to hold the internal hardware lifted from the donor iPhone.
The result is a foldable iPhone that looks closer to the original prototypes for foldable OLED displays than something Apple would put its name on.
The touchscreen works, but iOS wasn’t usable. That left some software modding to do, with split-screen mods similar to the Galaxy Z Flip’s operating system.
The screen started to break down after a few days of actual use. The OLED wasn’t designed for the additional strain. That shows how much design and engineering go into flagship foldables from Samsung and others.
It’s impressive that a group of tinkerers and modders have managed to create a foldable device from an iPhone. The modders encountered issues that any foldable device maker will also face.
We expect that’s why Apple is still working on its own device.
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