APPLE is reportedly working on a giant, foldable iPhone that will replace the iPad Mini in the California firm’s gadget line-up.
The high-tech mobile will boast a massive screen measuring 7.5 inches, dwarfing the next biggest iPhone ever made, according to Chinese media.
The device is rumoured to bend via a complex hinge that allows it to close like a clamshell. It’s expected to cost upwards of £2,000.
According to Chinese news site MyDrivers, Apple will use the phone’s launch to axe one of its most popular tablets.
The 7.9-inch iPad Mini will get the chop in favour of the foldable iPhone, which like the tablet will offer stylus support.
Apple is rumoured to be axing the iPad Mini to make room in its line-up for a foldable iPhoneCredit: AFP
It would be a sensible move for Apple, which has been guilty of cannibalising its own sales by offering similar products in the past.
Last year’s iPhone 12 Mini, for instance, has not sold well in-part because fans hunting for a small mobile opted instead for the similarly sized but much cheaper iPhone SE, according to a recent report from JP Morgan.
The California firm is apparently planning to halt production of the Mini as supply from its factories continues to vastly outstrip demand.
Ditching the iPad Mini would be one way to boost sales of the similar bulky folding iPhone when it hits shelves.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max is currently the largest iPhone on offerCredit: Getty Images – Getty
According to MyDrivers, that release date could fall as soon as 2022. Other reports have hinted the phone has been pushed back to 2023.
At 7.6-inches when unfolded, the mobile’s display would tower above the next biggest iPhone, the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max.
It’s not clear where the site got its information from, so take it with a pinch of salt for now.
We likely won’t know anything concrete about the device until Apple reveals it next year at the earliest.
If the rumours are true, Apple would be following in the footsteps of rivals Samsung and Ericsson who have both recently released folding mobiles.
Foldable phones are an increasingly popular smartphone design that puts a hinge mechanism behind the screen.
iPhone screen sizes revealed
How iPhone screens have changed over the years…
- iPhone (2007) – 3.5 inches
- iPhone 3G (2008) – 3.5 inches
- iPhone 3GS (2009) – 3.5 inches
- iPhone 4 (2010) – 3.5 inches
- iPhone 4S (2011) – 3.5 inches
- iPhone 5 (2012) – 4 inches
- iPhone 5S (2013) – 4 inches
- iPhone 5C (2013) – 4 inches
- iPhone 6 (2014) – 4.7 inches
- iPhone 6+ (2014) – 5.5 inches
- iPhone 6S (2015) – 4.7 inches
- iPhone 6S+ (2015) – 5.5 inches
- iPhone SE (2016) – 4 inches
- iPhone 7 (2016) – 4.7 inches
- iPhone 7+ (2016) – 5.5 inches
- iPhone 8 (2017) – 4.7 inches
- iPhone 8+ (2017) – 5.5 inches
- iPhone X (2017) – 5.8 inches
- iPhone XS (2018) – 5.8 inches
- iPhone XR (2018) – 6.1 inches
- iPhone XS Max (2018) – 6.5 inches
- iPhone 11 (2019) – 6.1 inches
- iPhone 11 Pro (2019) – 5.8 inches
- iPhone 11 Pro Max (2019) – 6.5 inches
- iPhone SE 2 (2020) – 4.7 inches
- iPhone Mini (2020) – 5.4 inches
- iPhone 12 (2020) – 6.1 inches
- iPhone 12 Pro (2020) – 6.1 inches
- iPhone 12 Pro Max (2020) – 6.7 inches
It allows the handset to have a large tablet-sized display, but fold down to smartphone size for regular use.
This means buyers can have big screens to watch media on, while still being able to pocket the gadgets easily.
But early foldable phones have been marred by bungles and delays.
Samsung was forced to cancel the launch of its Galaxy Fold handset last year, after early samples broke during the first few days of use.
Huawei also delayed its foldable Mate X launch to iron out design issues.
In other news, an iPhone update has added loads of new emoji.
Find out how to disguise your iPhone apps.
Check out this juicy new iPhone 13 leak.
And you can now pay with Bitcoin using Apple Pay on iPhone.
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