Apple is working on an 8-inch foldable iPhone with a QHD+ flexible OLED display which it plans to launch in 2023, as per a new report by reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Apple is planning foldable iPhone launch for 2023
Kuo had previously speculated that Apple would launch a 7.5-inch to 8-inch foldable iPhone in 2023, but his new note reveals a lot more information regarding the display technology that will be used. As per an investor note written by Ming-Chi Kuo, and seen by MacRumors, Apple is working on adopting silver nanowire technology for its foldable iPhone display, which will give it a competitive edge over existing competition in the market. Apple is planning to ship almost 20 million foldable iPhones in 2023.
Based on our latest industry survey, we forecast that Apple will likely launch a foldable iPhone with an 8-inch QHD+ flexible OLED display in 2023, with SDC as the exclusive display supplier and Samsung Foundry as the exclusive DDI foundry provider. Based on Apple’s requested capacity plan, we predict that the foldable iPhone shipments will reach 15-20 million units in 2023. We expect that the foldable iPhone will adopt TPK’s silver nanowire touch solution because of its several advantages over SDC’s Y-Octa technology.
Apple’s foldable iPhone display technology might also be used in other devices afterward, especially those displays which fold more than once. Kuo believes that silver nanowire technology, which Apple already uses for the HomePod touch interface, will be key for foldable iPhone displays as it is superior to other foldable display technology.
Future foldable devices will require touch technology that supports multiple folds (vs. only a single fold in current foldable smartphones), rollable, medium to large size display, and durability. When comparing the advantages of the above specifications, the silver nanowire is similar or superior to SDC’s Y-Octa.
Kuo is optimistic that Apple will be the winner of the foldable device race due to its ecosystem and hardware expertise.
At present, the product position of foldable smartphones is mainly to integrate the smartphone and tablet. 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.
There have been mixed reports previously regarding Apple’s efforts for a foldable smartphone. Some reports have said that Apple is working on a Surface Duo-like iPhone with two separate displays, while other rumors say that it will feature an actual foldable display. As of now, Apple has not officially kicked off development for its foldable iPhone, so there is a possibility that plans might change or the company could cancel it altogether if it does not meet its standards.
Check out our previous coverage for Apple’s rumored foldable smartphone:
- Apple is testing foldable iPhone at Foxconn factory in Shenzhen – Report
- Apple is reportedly testing a foldable iPhone with partner Foxconn, could launch by 2022
- Apple invents a self-healing display of a foldable device
- Apple is working on a foldable iPhone prototype with separate displays
- Apple is working on a foldable iPhone and in-screen Touch ID for iPhone 12s
- Apple’s foldable iPhone with Apple Pencil support to launch in 2023