Will Apple Make A Flip Phone?



Perhaps, but don’t expect a flip phone of old…


Wondering will Apple make a flip phone? It’s a common question people have. But before we delve into that, let’s take a look at what a flip phone is and then explore why a flip phone might not be in the card for Apple, but a foldable phone could be.

What Is a Flip Phone?

When someone refers to a “flip phone” they are usually talking about the mobile phones that were everywhere before 2007, that is, before the original iPhone launched. Back then, phones with physical keypads (number pads) were the norm.

These phones came in two varieties: the flip phone and the “candy bar” phone. The candy bar design was just a straight, flat phone that didn’t bend. Its top half had a small display and its bottom half had the number pad.

history of mobile phones
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The flip phone, on the other hand, was probably the more popular design, thanks to the likes of the classic Motorola Razr. Flip phones, as the name suggests, meant you could fold the phone shut thanks to a built-in hinge in the device’s center. Above the hinge was the phone’s display and below the hinge was the phone’s number pad.

When the phone was folded open, you saw the display and number pad, but then you could fold the phone shut so the display bent down over the number pad, protecting both. As the phone was folded in half, it also became smaller, which made it easier to fit in your pocket.

Flip phones contrast radically in their design compared to the current smartphone, which takes a “candy bar” type of design. That is, current smartphones are one long solid device.

So, will Apple ever make a flip phone iPhone?

No, Apple Will Never Make a Flip Phone…But…

OK, sorry to burst your bubble, but Apple will never make a flip phone. That is, Apple will never make a flip phone of old, with the top half the screen and the bottom half a physical numbered keypad. 

Flip phones may have been popular back in the day–and may even be a niche device among today’s hipsters, but the format will never be mainstream again. It just has too many limiting factors –including the small screen and the physical keypad.

All this being said, while Apple may not ever make a flip phone iPhone, it could make a foldable iPhone…

Will Apple Make A Flip Phone?
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Credit: Apple, USPTO

A Foldable iPhone Is A Real Possibility

While an Apple flip phone will never happen, it’s very possible Apple will launch a foldable iPhone in the coming years. Indeed they already have patents that show they are working on foldable iPhone technology. 

But just how is a foldable iPhone different than a flip phone?

A foldable phone bends in half like a flip phone, but it still keeps its all-screen design and it has no visible hinge. Or to put it another way, imagine you can fold your iPhone 13 in half without breaking it, so you can more easily slip it into your pocket or purse. Then when you want to take advantage of its full-screen display, you can simply unfold it.

Will Apple Make A Flip Phone?
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Credit: Apple, USPTO

This is exactly what a foldable phone seeks to achieve: a bendable display without any visible seams. Currently, there are some Android phones with folding displays, however, these phones are typically uber expensive and haven’t caught on with the wider public.

As Apple never cares about being first to market but instead focuses on bringing the best product to market, it’s no wonder Android phones have beaten Apple in the foldable race. But by 2025, we could see Apple’s first foldable iPhone.

Just don’t call it a flip phone.

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Michael Grothaus

Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.
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