The first foldable iPhone (perhaps called iPhone Flip) could arrive in 2023, according to a new report from a reliable Apple analyst. And it's expected to pack a very large 8-inch display.
Although Ming-Chi Kuo previously reported a 2023 foldable iPhone release window, the analyst upheld the prediction in an investor note seen by 9to5Mac (opens in new tab). The note also said Apple is expecting to ship up to 20 million units of its all-new iPhone model in the year of its launch.
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The research note says that the foldable iPhone will feature a 8-inch QHD+ flexible OLED display. Kuo also writes that foldable devices like this will blur the line between smartphones, tablets and laptops in the future and that Apple will be the "biggest winner in the new foldable device trend."
By comparison, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 sports a 7.6-inch internal display and a 6.2-inch external panel.
The alleged iPhone Flip is the most anticipated foldable phone at the moment, even though no one knows for certain when it might appear. Right now, we're ramping up to the iPhone 13 reveal, which is expected to happen sometime in September.
Beyond that, if Apple is working to challenge the best foldable phones on the market, we might not see the company's efforts materialize for at least two years. Apple seems to be betting that customers will be interested in a foldable iPhone when that time arrives.
Recently, a survey from YouGov (opens in new tab) revealed that owners of Apple's smartphones are less interested in purchasing a foldable device, compared to Samsung and LG smartphone owners.
In the meantime, Samsung is gearing up for two more foldable phone launches for this year. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 are both expected to debut in July. The Z Fold 3 is rumored to offer S Pen support and perhaps an under-display camera.
We're not sure yet whether the iPhone Flip will operate like the Z Flip or Z Flip. It could feature a compact clamshell-style design that opens upward, or a tablet-sized orientation that opens outward.
That said, Kuo previously reported that the display will measure 7.5- to 8-inches when opened.