Apple is reportedly working on a giant, foldable iPhone that will replace the iPad Mini in the California firm’s gadget line-up.
The hi-tech mobile will boast a massive screen measuring 7.5 inches (19cm), dwarfing the next biggest iPhone ever made, according to Chinese media.
It follows multiple reports that Apple is working on a foldable handset to take on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X.
The device is rumoured to bend via a complex hinge that allows it to close like a clamshell, and would likely be the most expensive iPhone yet.
According to Chinese news site MyDrivers, Apple will use the phone’s launch to axe one of its tablets.
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The 7.9-inch iPad Mini will get the chop in favour of the foldable iPhone, which like the tablet will offer stylus support with Apple Pencil.
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.
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.
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It’s not clear where the site got its information from, so take it with a pinch of salt for now.
It’s likely we 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 which have both recently released folding mobiles.
Foldable phones are an increasingly popular smartphone design that puts a hinge mechanism behind the screen.
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.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission