Chinese newspaper Economic Daily News explains that Apple has activated suppliers and partners to test the key components of its future foldable iPhone
The foldable iPhone is again the protagonist of a series of rumors, which at least in this round involve the Chinese assembler Foxconn and the bearing manufacturer Nikko. In the beginning, it was LG in 2016 that became accredited as a potential supplier of the indispensable flexible screens, but since then only patents have accumulated in that of Cupertino. Yesterday, however, the Chinese newspaper Economic Daily News sparked the hopes of the community of enthusiasts: Apple would have started to involve suppliers and industrial partners in the experimentation.
Stress test in China
The current test phase seems to be concentrated on two fronts: the panel to choose and the best components for the hinges. The screen should be based on OLED or Micro-LED produced by Samsung. Technologies that are currently used on iPhones and Watches respectively; the Mini-LEDs should appear on the iPad 2021. The real nerve center, however, is that of the hinge system, which is also observed special on the Motorola Razr, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, Huawei Mate XS, and Samsung Galaxy Fold. Here the game of reliability and longevity is played a lot. For this reason, several bearing suppliers were contacted, including the main Nikko, and the assembler Foxconn was also involved – on the other hand, even with an excellent component something could go wrong in the assembly phase. Extreme stress tests are expected with 100,000 openings and closings. It should be remembered that in laptops the threshold is usually 20/30 thousand times and for the top of the range no more than 50 thousand. In short, we are talking about a phase of mechanical torture that is key to define the engineering path and consequently also that of assembly.