Rumours of a foldable iPhone have gone back about four years, but within three we might actually get one, according to a respected Apple analyst.
In a note to researchers spied by MacRumors, Ming Chi-Kuo reckons 2023 is D-Day for the foldable Apple iPhone handset to come and challenge Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip offerings.
In fact, Samsung has already been pegged to help Apple in that regard with the company’s display unit set to provide an 8-inch flexible screen for Apple’s own attempts at a foldable.
According to Kuo, Apple has already targeted up to 20 million in sales for long-rumoured expansion of the iPhone range to a new form factor for the first time ever.
“At present, the product position of foldable smartphones is mainly to integrate the smartphone and tablet,” Kuo wrote.
“But we believe that the foldable smartphone is only one of the applications of the foldable design. We predict that foldable devices will blur the product segmentations between smartphones, tablets, and laptops in the future. With its cross-product ecosystems and hardware design advantages, Apple will be the biggest winner in the new foldable device trend.”
Kuo also says Apple is planning on distinguish its offerings by using a ‘silver nanotech touch solution’ which is said to be superior to the Y-Octa tech used by Samsung.
Apple’s entry into the market would likely provide a massive uptick for the sector, which has so far struggled to gain mainstream traction through a combination of a price tag around double that of a standard flagship phone, some early reliability issues and the absence of a killer use case to this date.
The company has a proven track record of finding these use cases that engage a public previously reluctant to embrace new devices or form factors. We’re intrigued by the concept, but still not convinced this is the path Apple will take.
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