2023 could be the year of the foldable iPhone, reckons renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In an investor note seen by MacRumours, Kuo claims that Apple is beavering away on a folding iPhone with an 8-inch QHD+ flexible OLED display. He even goes so far as to say the tech giant will ship 15 to 20 million folding smartphones in 2023. A bold prediction indeed.
Kuo also claims the "the foldable iPhone will adopt TPK's silver nanowire touch solution". Silver nanowire (SNW) is a new conductive film solution said to be a cost-effective way to make paper-thin, bendable OLED displays. If that's true, there's every chance the first foldable iPhone could resemble the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold.
Not convinced? Kuo believes Apple is already using SNW to make the touch interface for the successor to the HomePod Mini smart speaker. The idea being that Apple will have time to "master the technology" and iron out any production issues – before rolling the tech out to its flagship 2023 iPhone (set to be the iPhone 15). Makes sense.
This week's prediction comes hot on the heels of rumours that Apple is working on a foldable display with a "mostly invisible hinge" that could unfold to around the size of the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Kuo has also weighed in on this debate in the past, tipping Apple to launch a 7.5- to 8-inch foldable iPhone in 2023 'provided the California company can solve key production issues'.
There's even been talk of a foldable iPad lately. Kuo says it could "blur the product separation between mobile phones, tablets and notebooks".
Only time will tell, especially when you consider there's currently no concrete evidence that Apple will pursue a foldable future. The firm has its hands full with the launch of the recently-announced iPad Pro 2021 and new Apple TV 4K, not to mention the upcoming iPhone 13.
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