The appearance of Galaxy Fold and Huawei’s Mate X has generated a lot of excitement around folding smartphones, but what if I were to tell you that Apple is quietly working on them too?

How advanced are its plans?

Apple has been developing technologies that could be deployed inside a folding iPhone since at least 2014, when the first patents for such a device appeared in Europe. More Apple patents appeared in 2016 and 2017.

[ Related: Apple's place is in the enterprise ]

With a nod to the need to innovated display tech, a report that claimed LG was actively working with Apple and four other major tech firms (including Google and Microsoft) on the development of folding smartphones appeared in December 2016. This claimed the first such devices would reach market in 2017, which didn’t happen.

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