Tim Cook, Apple CEO, waves as he opens the door of the newly renovated Apple Store on Fifth Avenue on September 20, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Kena Betancur / AFP) (Photo credit should be KENA BETANCUR / AFP via Getty Images)
KENA BETANCUR | AFP | Getty Images
A leading Apple analyst said in a statement to customers on Monday that the company is expected to launch a foldable iPhone in 2023.
Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at TFI Securities, said he believes the foldable iPhone will hit 15-20 million units in 2023, according to an industry survey. The new model will likely have an 8-inch foldable OLED display, according to Kuo. That said, it could function like an iPhone that can open up to a tablet with a screen slightly larger than the 7.9-inch display on an iPad mini.
According to Kuo, the foldable model is now a “must have” for major smartphone brands.
“After 5G, the foldable smartphone is the next innovative selling point for high-end models,” he wrote.
Samsung, Huawei, and Xiaomi have all introduced models, though prices still make them relatively inaccessible to most consumers. There are a few hurdles Apple may have to overcome. For example, all Apple iPads support drawing input with an Apple Pencil. However, most foldable phones don’t yet support pen input because they are relatively fragile compared to traditional phone screens.
According to Kuo, Apple is poised to lead the foldable device trend that “will blur product segmentation between smartphones, tablets and laptops.”
An Apple spokesperson was not immediately available to comment on Kuo’s note.
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