Apple has ordered a large number of foldable displays from Samsung for a line of folding iPhones currently in development, according to the Apple leaker Ice Universe.
The leak, reported by MacRumors, points to a sudden development in the relationship between the two companies, and predicts that Samsung will supply iPhone screens to Apple for a year. It's not the first time Samsung has filled this role, having made OLED screens for iPhones in the past, but the companies have not always got on; at one stage they were involved in more than 50 legal disputes with one another around the world.
Samsung is understood to have sent samples of its foldable technology to Apple and several other companies in 2019 in the hope of receiving orders. That would now appear to have been a wise move.
This new large-scale order from Apple suggests that the company is doing more detailed tests for a potential foldable product. Apple has also previously applied for several patents related to folding screens.
Don't expect the iPhone 12 to come with a folding screen; that device will have a far more conservative design, with square edges the most radical aesthetic change from the previous generation. However, some sources claim that a foldable iPhone could be released as early as next year - although the rumours suggest the foldable iPhone could launch in 2022.
Update January 2021: Apple is said to have tested two prototype foldable iPhones.