Based on the latest industry survey, it is expected that Apple will likely launch a foldable iPhone in 2023.
The rumour that Apple is joining the bandwagon that Samsung created by producing foldable phones has been in circulation for a while now. Now it looks like Apple is targeting 2023 to debut its foldable iPhone.
According to a recent post from MacRumors containing a report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple’s foldable iPhone is expected to have an 8inch display when unfolded with a QHD+ (1,800×3,200 pixels) flexible OLED screen. The display of the foldable iPhone would have a higher pixel count than the QXGA+ display available on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2.
This anticipated device is also predicted to have a perfect 16:9 aspect ratio, unlike the 19.5:9 aspect ratio found on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro.
Kuo added that Apple would be adopting the silver nanowire touch system from TPK for the foldable iPhone display over Y-Octa tech of SDC. Apple is already using the silver nanowire touch solution in its HomePod. Using this same tech in the foldable iPhone would provide Apple with a “long-term competitive advantage.”
Kuo stated that the display would be exclusively supplied by SDC while Samsung Foundry would be the DDI foundry supplier exclusively. Though earlier reports had suggested that the flexible display panels would be produced by LG Display.
As speculated depending on Apple’s requested quantity plan, about 15 to 20 million copies of the foldable iPhones would be shipped in 2023 as foldable phones will become the new trend and a must-have. Nevertheless, this number is lower than Apple’s usual production quantity of a regular iPhone.
Currently, Apple’s line-up between their iPhones and iPad is very clear. However, introducing a foldable iPhone will undoubtedly blur those lines. Kuo said, “Currently, foldable smartphone’s product position is mostly to incorporate the tablet and smartphone. However, we think that the foldable phone is just one of the applications of this design. We assume that foldable gadgets will blur the product classification between tablets, laptops and smartphones in near future. With our hardware design benefits and cross-product ecosystems, Apple would be the top-most pioneer in the latest trend of foldable devices.”
This is not the first time that a rumour about a foldable iPhone would be in circulation. Last March, Kuo announced that Apple was possibly planning to release a foldable iPhone with a 7.5inch to 8inch display in 2023. At that time, Kuo mentioned that the launch timeline depends on Apple’s ability to solve “key technology and mass production issues” and “development had not started officially yet.”
However, Apple is predicted to have been developing its foldable iPhone for the past few months. The Cupertino-based company has seemingly filed some patent applications for its foldable iPhone design. Another rumour has it that about two prototypes of the foldable iPhone are being tested internally at a Foxconn factory. According to a report released in November, Apple’s first foldable iPhone may eventually be announced sometime in 2022.