Gadgets

Apple’s secret weapon might be an E Ink foldable smartphone

foldable iPhone Source: MacRumors

Foldables are certainly the next generation of touchscreen devices that we’ll use. The market seems ready for them, and the sales numbers are growing daily. Most of the companies, including Samsung, OPPO, HUAWEI, and others in the smartphone / tablet space, have launched their own foldable device, but one company – Apple.

When it comes to foldables, Apple has been fairly silent. Yes, there have been some rumors about the Cupertino company working on its own foldable, but the details are fairly scarce at the moment. Nonetheless, popular Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has shared a new key detail about Apple’s upcoming foldable that has got us all excited.

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Ming-Chi Kuo claims that Apple is testing E Ink’s color Electronic Paper Display (EPD) for its future products with foldable screens. Kuo suggests that the company would rely on E Ink’s display for the cover screen of its foldable and not for the main (inner) display. If Apple opts for the E Ink display for the outer screen of its foldable, it will be an interesting deviation from the Android foldable market.

For example, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 features a 6.2-inch AMOLED cover display which allows users to use the foldable as a normal smartphone in closed operation. The user can unfold the device to use the 7.6-inch main screen. But, using an E Ink display will not make sense in such a case as the user will not enjoy a screen that refreshes 2-3 times a second and can display only a small amount of colors.

Galaxy Z Flip 3

However, an E Ink display would make sense in case the company uses it for a small cover screen, such as in the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3. The latest Samsung Flip foldable features a small 1.9-inch OLED cover screen (seen above) that is only used to display things such as notifications, time, weather, and other static text-based content. If Apple plans to implement an E Ink display for such a small cover screen, it could prove to be a very smart decision.

E Ink displays consume much less power in comparison to OLED displays for displaying static content. Since the outer display’s power consumption will be very low, the company foldable could deliver excellent battery life. Those wondering about the muted colors of the E Ink display, the company has developed a solution for it. While most of us associate E Ink with the monochrome displays on the Amazon Kindle e-book readers, the company has also forayed into the field of colored displays, making it usable for the cover screen.

E Ink recently unveiled its Gallery 3 display that is capable of producing over 50,000 colors at 300 dpi. The company promotional videos also show how the display can be folded or rolled. While the number of colors the latest E Ink display can produce is nowhere close to the number of colors OLED displays can produce (OLED displays can produce billions of colors), the technology might suffice the use case of an outer display, assuming it will be a small one (like the one on Galaxy Z Flip 3) and will just be used for displaying notifications.

Although Apple will be late to the party whenever it launches its first-ever foldable, using technology such as an E Ink display could become an eye-grabbing feature for the company and provide a boost to its sales. In addition to Apple, Kuo claims that other companies are also looking at this solution.

What we know about Apple’s foldable

Apple foldable macbook render concept
Apple MacBook Folio concept
Source:
ADR Studio Design

While the information about Apple’s foldable device has excited all of us, the company isn’t expected to debut its first foldable product before 2025. Previous reports have suggested that Apple’s first foldable will be an iPhone-iPad hybrid and will likely debut in 2025. In addition to an iPhone-iPad foldable, Bloomberg has reported that Apple is also working on a 20-inch foldable that would debut in 2026.

While Apple’s foldable device is still years away and the company plans could change at any moment, Kuo’s latest tweet offers insight into where the company might be heading with the technology. What are your thoughts on Apple using a colored E Ink display for the cover screen of its foldable? Do you think the E Ink display will suffice the usage, or should the company also opt for an OLED display for the outer screen of its foldable? Let us know in the comments section below!


Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 in Black Product box image

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G is the latest foldable flagship from Samsung. It has an IPX8 certificate, supports the S Pen, and comes with the powerful Snapdragon 888 chipset.

PBI Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 is an excellent option for those looking to enter the foldable phone segment without breaking the bank. It features a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, 8GB RAM, and two storage options.