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Apple Considers Foldable iPhone; Minor Changes Planned for 2021 Models

Company testing in-screen fingerprint scanner for next iPhones and an upgraded iPad Pro with new screen also in the works.

Samsung Electronics Co. Galaxy Z Flip smartphones are displayed during the Samsung Unpacked product launch event in San Francisco, California, U.S. on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020.

Samsung Electronics Co. Galaxy Z Flip smartphones are displayed during the Samsung Unpacked product launch event in San Francisco, California, U.S. on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020.

Photographer: Michael Short/Bloomberg

Apple Inc. has begun early work on an iPhone with a foldable screen, a potential rival to similar devices from Samsung Electronics Co. and others, though it’s planning only minor changes for this year’s iPhone line.

The Cupertino, California-based company has developed prototype foldable screens for internal testing, but hasn’t solidified plans to actually launch a foldable iPhone. The development work hasn’t expanded beyond a display, meaning Apple doesn’t yet have full handset prototypes in its labs, according to a person familiar with the work, who asked not to be identified discussing private matters.