Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), always trying to stay competitive in the cutthroat global smartphone market, is apparently considering the development of a flip phone. That's according to a report published Friday in Bloomberg, citing a "person familiar with the matter."

That source says that Apple has created foldable screen prototypes for testing purposes, although that's as far as the company has gone for now; it seems that no prototype phones yet exist. And the tech giant hasn't devised concrete plans for developing such a device, and bringing it to market.

A generic foldable smartphone.

Image source: Getty Images.

The report did not state the size of the prototype screen. Theoretically, with a foldable phone/tablet Apple could make products with screens larger than its existing models. Its largest current offering, the iPhone 12 Pro Max, stretches 6.7 inches. Certain foldable devices reach 8 inches when opened.

Current technology gives manufacturers the scope to make foldable phones and tablets that have sufficient display resolution and other features expected of current mobile customers.

In 2019, Samsung rolled out such an offering to great fanfare, the Galaxy Fold, which found its way into the hands of many a gadget geek. Subsequently, Motorola introduced a new version of its Razr phone with similar "flip" technology. Other manufacturers make comparable products.

If Apple goes ahead with developing, testing, and eventually manufacturing and selling a foldable phone, it will be a clear effort to steal share from such rivals. We can expect at least some success in this regard, as Apple devices have more snob appeal than those of Samsung, Motorola, and the like.

Apple, a fairly tight-lipped company, has not yet commented on the Bloomberg story and is unlikely to.

 
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