Rumors of a foldable iPhone have bubbled before, but a new one has more credibility. Reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo told investors that Apple plans to launch an 8-inch foldable iPhone by 2023 according to documents viewed by Engadget and an article by MacRumors. The report, based on an “industry survey,” predicts that Apple plans to sell 15-20 million units in 2023.
Kuo said already revealed the possibility of a foldable iPhone in March, but its latest report has more details on the suppliers. He predicts that the flexible QHD + OLED will be provided by Samsung Display, while the DDI display controller will come from Samsung Foundry. He also notes that Apple will use the silver nanowire touch technology provided by TPK, “because of its many advantages over [Samsung’s] Y-Octa technology. “
The report is highly speculative, so don’t start saving for an iPhone Fold or anything just yet. However, other details give it additional credibility. Kuo expects Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi and Honor to launch new foldable models in late 2021 or early 2022, with shipments to reach 17 million by 2022 if component shortages improve.
If that happens, foldable phones could become the “next innovative selling point for high-end models,” as Kuo puts it. In this case, Apple would of course want to be ready with its own model. However, if consumers don’t use the devices as Kuo predicts, Apple could drop the project like a hot stone. In other words, a lot can happen over the next couple of years.
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