These Chinese Creatives Made Their Own Foldable Mobile Phone

Introducing the World’s First Foldable iPhone, the iPhone V

A team of technophiles from China spent more than 300 days producing the first and only (known) foldable iPhone in the world

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Hayley Zhao
5:43 PM HKT, Wed November 9, 2022 1 mins read

Old electronics are making a comeback among Chinese youth, and good ol’ flip phones are back in style. Tech giants like Samsung and Huawei have hopped on the bandwagon by introducing their own versions of foldable phones. However, Apple, one of the most dominant players in the electronic gadgets field, has yet to release a contender. This led some creative Chinese tech enthusiasts to take matters into their own hands.

The story revolves around Keji Meixue, a channel devoted to reviewing new technology on Bilibili, one of China’s top streaming platforms. Meaning ‘the beauty of technology’ in Mandarin, the channel puts out videos with titles like, ‘Trying out the new iPad Pro’ or ‘Which is the best-priced phone for a college student?’

Last September, the content creators released a mock release trailer for the ‘foldable iPhone V.’ Most viewers saw it as a parody directed at Apple for being so behind in the game. Little did they know, Na Yan, founder of Keji Meixue, and his team were actually in the process of creating their own foldable iPhone.

Titled ‘World Premiere of the First Foldable iPhone! iPhone V produced by Keji Meixue,’ the channel’s latest video demonstrates the lengths Na and his team went to create a foldable smartphone based on the iPhone X, a journey that took 300 days.

The first obstacle faced by the team was how to make the screen foldable. They ran experiments on the iPhone X’s original screen to ensure quality and color accuracy.


A snippet from the video demonstrating how to make an iPhone X screen foldable

To make the original screen, which consists of six layers, bend, engineer Edwin Wang had to remove two layers without damaging the others. Needless to say, the process proved extremely difficult.

While we won’t bore you with all of the technical details, we will say this: the whole process took five months, 20,000 RMB (around 2,760 USD), and many, many iPhone X screens.


Proof of the team’s many failed attempts at creating a foldable smartphone screen

Seeing as another critical element of a foldable phone is a rotating shaft, the team also took apart two Samsung Galaxy Z Flips (3,300 USD total) and two Motorola Razrs (3,450 USD total) to decide which they preferred. They ultimately decided to imitate the latter model’s.


The finished iPhone V. Image via Weibo

After the final, complicated steps of rearranging the iPhone X’s hardware, Keji Meixue’s project was finally finished.

Rocking a sleek black look and sporting Apple’s signature silver logo, the iPhone V has upper and lower screens. As with other foldable smartphones, both screens can simultaneously display different apps using the split screen function.


The iPhone V that took 300 days to build

Despite investing hours and days into building the iPhone V, the foldable smartphone is said to still be a very rough prototype with significant shortcomings. Its short battery life means the smartphone can barely last a whole day without needing to be charged. Additionally, its screen is far from durable and experiences glitches after mere days of use.

“We call it the 0.1 version [of the iPhone V],” joked Na in the video before welcoming comments and suggestions on how to improve their pretty impressive pet project.

Cover image via Keji Meixue

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