Well-connected Apple industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says Apple is working on a foldable iPhone boasting an 8-inch QHD+ flexible OLED display, for sale as soon as 2023. Kuo predicts that the foldable iPhone shipments will reach 15-20 million units in 2023.
Kuo’s comments were included in a note to investors, shared by MacRumors
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.
Kuo predicts that foldability will become a “must-have” for all major smartphone brands and will boost the next “super replacement cycle” for high-end models. Kuo says Apple is well-positioned to be the “biggest winner” in the foldable device trend.
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.
Kuo believes that the upcoming iPhone will adopt a silver nanowire touch solution for the device’s display, which will create a “long-term competitive advantage” for Apple in the foldable device market.
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 mentioned foldable iPhones back in March that he believes Apple will be able to fix production issues with the foldable technology in 2021, possibly launching a 7.5 to 8-inch foldable iPhone two years later.