Smartphones were cool. At least for the first few years. However, the generic touch screen portable computer is just no fun anymore. People want something new, and foldable phones might just be that ‘something’. Many companies have come out with their own versions of the foldable smartphone technology, but surprisingly, Apple-one of the biggest names in the game, has stayed quiet on this market trend. However, that may be about to change soon. According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors), Apple may be working on a foldable iPhone with an 8-inch QHD+ flexible OLED display with a launch planned for 2023.
Moreover, according to Kuo, the company is planning to ship as many as 20 million units that year.
This does not come as a surprise, especially since the tech giant was granted a patent for a foldable smartphone design earlier this year.
The new iPhone may include touch sensors (including touch-sensitive volume control and interface navigation, and even a built-in biometric sensor) underneath an outward folding display.
Foldable electronic devices are not uncommon, but Apple’s foldable iPhone might just be revolutionary. In a note to investors, Kuo stated that SDC would be the exclusive display supplier and Samsung Foundry 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 nano-wire touch solution because of its several advantages over SDC’s Y-Octa technology,” Kuo said.
This will create a “long-term competitive advantage” for Apple in the foldable device market, he added. TPK technology is durable and capable of supporting multiple folds, as well as rollable displays and medium to large screen sizes.
The foldable iPhone is expected to be equipped with an 8-inch QHD+ display, which at 3200×1800 pixels beats Samsung Fold’s 7.3-inch QXGA+ screen. QHD+ displays also feature a perfect 16:9 aspect ratio. It is, however, not known whether the iPhone would fold horizontally or vertically.
“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 said.
Foldable smartphones are set to be the new trend, blurring the line between smartphones, tablets, and laptops in the future, Kuo felt, supplementing it with surveys. He said that with its cross-product ecosystems and hardware design advantages, Apple would become the biggest name in the game in the new foldable device trend.
Apple continues to surprise, and the latest development has only made people all the more expectant for the foldable iPhone.