A new report suggests that the iPhone 12 may feature touchless controls and a foldable screen, but that we won’t see the phone for a couple of years.
Apple’s most successful line by far is their mobile division, and the iPhone X proved that the company still has what it takes in order to becoming the hottest phone of the generation – with the device becoming the fastest selling iPhone in history. With innovative FaceID technology, it offered something brand new to a market that was becoming saturated with high-end phones that were powerful yet very similar. With the iPhone 12, it appears as if Apple may be innovating again with the introduction of touchless controls and a foldable screen.
A recent report from Bloomberg citing “people with knowledge of the matter” suggests that the iPhone 12 could be even more revolutionary than the iPhone X. While they likely won’t be the first high-end smartphone to introduce a foldable screen – with the Galaxy X currently in development – it would be a first for the iPhone line, and the touchless controls are a rather new feature as well.
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The touchless controls would allow iPhone 12 users to control their phone simply by hovering their finger over the screen without even touching the display. If this technology is truly in development, it may mean that we won’t see the introduction of an Apple foldable phone for at least a couple of years – suggesting that it will, indeed, be at least the iPhone 12 generation, and possibly even a generation later.
This same report also gives some insight into the display that Apple is actively developing for the iPhone 12, which introduces an inwards curve from the top to the bottom of the device. While curved displays are by no means a new phenomenon, with Samsung releasing Galaxy phones with curved displays for several years at this point, it appears as if Apple’s decision for the display is a little bit different – relying on OLED technology to get the curved effect on both the top and bottom sides.
While Bloomberg is a reliable outlet and this information could certainly be correct, it’s important to take any sort of leak regarding an upcoming phone with a grain of salt – especially ones as far away as the release of the iPhone 12. While touchless controls and a foldable screen are definitely a possibility, there’s an equally possibility that these features could be in a different phone entirely – or even end up not being used at all. If the technology doesn’t turn out the way that Apple is intending, or the market changes and it seems that a foldable screen and touchless controls don’t seem advisable, it’s possible that we’ll see a more traditional iPhone 12 rather than one that takes a massive departure from what the company has been doing up until this point.
However, Apple has certainly gleaned from the rapid sales of the iPhone X that taking risks seems to pay off. While the notch in the iPhone X was controversial, the unique design of the phone combined with a FaceID technology that offered more convenience and security to the device led to some serious sales – to the point where Apple had difficulty keeping up with the demand. Considering that the iPhone X was released several months after the first part of his new generation of phones due to a lack of technology supplies, it’s possible that an iPhone 12 with something as unique as a foldable screen and touchless controls could unseat the X as the fastest selling iPhone – and perhaps even the fastest selling phone in general.
Apple has given us a clear demonstration of innovation in an industry that is becoming more and more similar as time goes on. With how dramatic a departure the iPhone 12 may be from what we’ve seen thus far, the company may be continuing this trend into the future – further establishing themselves as a leader in the luxury smartphone arena. However, it’s possible that the iPhone 12 may be a little too different for a market that is starting to get used to certain design and feature choices from the company. While the iPhone X definitely took some risks in terms of design and features, it was still pretty recognizable as part of the iPhone family. What exactly a foldable screen and touchless controls actually means in terms of design and execution remains to be seen.
Whether Apple uses this technology or not, it will likely be at least 2020 before we see the technology implemented. As time goes on, more leaks and rumors should give us a better sense of whether this information was reliable or if it was a misguided suggestion.