All major smartphone makers now have foldable smartphones, except Apple. A YouTube channel thought that this should change and therefore made a foldable iPhone itself. For this ‘iPhone V’ they used an iPhone X and a Motorola razr.
The iPhone V from YouTube channel Technological Aesthetics uses most of the hardware of that iPhone X and the folding mechanism of an old folding Motorola razr. Although the team actually wanted to use the mechanics of a Galaxy Z Flip first. The channel bought two of these Samsungs, but when taking them apart, the screen was found to curve too tightly at the fold. The iPhone X’s screen isn’t designed for this, so it wouldn’t work.
However, the two screen halves of the razr are less close to each other at the fold, so that the curvature at the fold is less. The mechanics of this phone would therefore be good enough for the iPhone screen, Technological Aesthetics concluded.
By the way, getting that iPhone screen was also a big hassle. In order to make the screen foldable, the separate screen layers had to be peeled off from the top glass layer and the underlying 3D Touch layer. Dozens of attempts failed and it was only after 36 broken screens that the YouTubers managed to get a working, foldable iPhone X screen to work.
With a working mechanism and a bendable screen, Technological Aesthetics could get to work with the further internal hardware. After all, Apple did not develop and place the motherboard and battery with the idea that they could be bent, so this layout also had to be adapted. In the end, the YouTube channel decided to reverse the layout and place the main motherboard components in the lower half of the screen. Later, new cables, a new frame and a new housing had to be made, with of course the Apple logo on the back.
After more than a year of work and many broken iPhones, the iPhone V was ready. While the YouTubers in the video are proud of their product, they also acknowledge that it is still a 0.1 version. For example, they had to remove a speaker and remove the wireless charging to make the whole thing fit. In addition, the original battery did not fit and a 1000mAh battery had to be replaced. That is less than half of the original battery capacity, with all the consequences that entails.
The biggest problem, however, remains the folding screen; after a few days of folding the first damage started to show. Technological Aesthetics says they plan to improve the device even further, without sharing what they plan to do.