The foldable iPhone isn't coming anytime soon

But the iPhone won't be the only foldable. The iPad may be the first of Apple's devices to bend to the trend within the next two years.

Vanessa Hand Orellana CNET Senior Editor
As head of wearables at CNET, Vanessa reviews and writes about the latest smartwatches and fitness trackers. She joined the team seven years ago as an on-camera reporter for CNET's Spanish-language site and then moved on to the English side to host and produce some of CNET's videos and YouTube series. When she's not testing out smartwatches or dropping phones, you can catch her on a hike or trail run with her family.
Vanessa Hand Orellana
4 min read

We may have to wait a while for a foldable iPhone and a TouchID comeback. In this week's Apple Core roundup we're fast forwarding to 2021 when Apple is rumored to launch a foldable iPad and an in-screen fingerprint scanner. We're also looking at how the iPhone 11 rumors stack up against Samsung's newest Note 10, and we're giving you the latest on how to get the Apple Card. 

Foldable iPad in 2021

Analysts say a foldable Apple device is coming, but the iPhone may not be the first to fold. Based on the multiple patents Apple has filed over the past few years, it's no secret the company is at least exploring the possibility of bringing this type of device to market, but up till now we were expecting it to be an iPhone. 

According to an investor's note from UBS cited by CNBC Apple is "steadily working on the technology," first for the iPad and then for the iPhone, but it likely won't be ready for prime time until 2021. 


Foldable iPad concept. 

Amy Kim/CNET

The report also suggests pricing might be one of the biggest hurdles to bringing a product like this to market. A survey found that while people are interested in a foldable Apple device, they're willing to spend a maximum $600 more for it (compared to the price of a non foldable phone). That's less than the cost of the Galaxy Fold , Samsung's ill-fated foldable phone, which was $2,000 at launch (it's currently not available). 

TouchID could make a comeback, but not yet

For the past few months, we've been hearing plenty of rumors about a return of the screen-embedded fingerprint sensor in the iPhone. One rumor talked about the possibility of having this TouchID complement FaceID as another form of biometric authentication, while another suggested it would replace FaceID altogether to cut down on costs for a cheaper iPhone alternative. 

This week we got more evidence supporting the comeback rumor, but now it's looking like we may have to wait a bit longer to get TouchID back. Longtime analyst Ming Chi Quo says Apple will spend the next 18 months ironing out kinks to bring you a FaceID-TouchID hybrid in the 2021 iPhone lineup. 

With the comeback apparently not happening with the iPhone 11, the device is looking a little less exciting. The most plausible rumors up until now suggest that the phones in this year's lineup will have a very similar design as last year's models, a three camera array on the back that'll include a new ultrawide-angle lens, a larger battery, reverse charging and maybe a fast charger in the box. 

Other features, like a 3D camera module on the back, a smaller notch and 5G connectivity, all of which had at one point been rumored to come to the iPhone this year, have been pushed back to 2020.

Samsung's new Note raises the bar on the iPhone 11

Samsung just unveiled its new Note 10 and Note 10+ with a nearly bezel-free screen, four cameras on the back, in-screen fingerprint scanner, reverse charging and a 5G option to boot. If these features are starting to sound familiar, it's probably because they reflect a lot of the features rumored to come to the next iPhone, though in some cases (like 5G and 3D camera) not for at least another year. 


The Note 10 Plus (left) alongside a render of the iPhone 11.

Viva Tung/CNET

Fancy screens and 5G don't necessarily guarantee a great phone; there's also the ecosystem to consider and the under-the-hood performance. But as far as specs go, there's no denying Samsung has set the bar high for Apple's next phone. 

Here's a detailed comparison between Samsung's new Galaxy Note 10 and Apple's rumored iPhone 11.

The Apple Card is here, sort of 

Apple users will finally be able to order that shiny new titanium Apple Card to match their Apple devices. This week Apple has started sending out invitations to a select number of users to sign up for its credit card. The first people to get invites had previously requested to be notified via Apple's website and were selected at random. And though you can still sign up to be notified on the site, a larger public launch is expected for later this month. 

Once you get the invite to sign up for the Apple Card, you can start using the digital version right away, although you'll have to wait a few days for the physical titanium version to arrive in the mail. The Apple Card can be immediately added to your Apple Pay account in the Wallet app. 

Apple has also published a series of tutorials about the Apple Card on its Youtube page, where you'll find everything from sign-up to setup.