Apple has begun "early work" to make foldable versions of the iPhone, but hasn't solidified any plans to make a foldable model, according to a report this evening by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, citing an unnamed source.
The single source, familiar with Apple's work, said the prototype only consists of a folding screen, not an entire device. "The development work hasn't expanded beyond a display, meaning Apple doesn't yet have full handset prototypes in its labs," writes Gurman.
The prototype screen is said to be akin to the design of the Samsung Electronics Galaxy Fold and the Motorola Razr phones, with a central hinge that creates the fold. Gurman writes that internal discussions at Apple have presented the idea of a foldable screen in the same 6.7-inch size as the current iPhone 12 Pro Max. That would similar to the Motorola and Samsung phones.
Apple's work on a fingerprint sensor that would be housed inside the display, rather than in the classic home button of older iPhones, is ongoing, writes Gurman. That function could presumably be useful for people wearing COVID-19 masks, he notes.
Presumably, a device with an identification function that could operate when the thing is folded up might also be a good idea, though Gurman doesn't mention that.