Apple isn't going to let Samsung be the only company developing phones with foldable displays. There's an analyst with Bank of America Merrill Lynch who believes the Cupertino-based company is also planning an iPhone that can be folded into a more compact state. It's the first time we've heard of such, but it shouldn't be surprising considering the future of the industry is likely to go in that direction.

Wamsi Mohan released a note to clients this week revealing that Apple is currently communicating its interest in foldable displays with suppliers. While the iPhone with a foldable display won't be ready immediately, the product could hit the market lot sooner than you might think.

Here's what the analyst said:

"Our checks also suggest that Apple is working with suppliers on a foldable phone (that potentially could double up as a tablet) for launch in 2020."

The iPhone with a foldable display could, and that's a strong "could," be ready in about two years. Apple is already asking suppliers to research and develop the necessary components to execute the technology.

Samsung, meanwhile, has acknowledged its working on the technology but will only release a consumer-ready product if everything aligns. Creating a foldable display is challenging, and there's still no clear desire from consumers for it. But we've seen Samsung develop technologies like curved edges and the Infinity display that have become mainstream.

In 2018, Apple will put its focus on a trio of new iPhone models. And who knows what the company has in development for next year. It is interesting, though, that the analyst is providing his notes based on information from suppliers rather than just his opinion.

With so much new technology in the pipeline, it's worth sharing that Bank of America Merrill Lynch upped its buy rating for Apple's stock.