With just six days left of 2023, the prospects of a foldable iPhone arriving this year — once viewed as a distinct possibility — are now nonexistent. But how about a 2024 launch for a theoretical iPhone Flip reveal?
Sadly, the likelihood doesn't seem all that much better. While next year has previously been tipped for the possible arrival of Apple’s first foldable phone, one of the analysts who originally backed a 2024 release window has since amended their estimate.
“I expected Apple to launch a foldable iPhone as soon as 2024 in my reports last year, but now it’s clear this prediction needs to be revised,” wrote Ming-Chi Kuo. “I predict Apple may launch its first foldable product in 2025 at the earliest, which may be a foldable iPad or a hybrid of iPad & iPhone.”
We first saw this timing update back in April, and haven't been given much else to work with since. The words “may” and “at the earliest” don’t sound hugely optimistic, and others are even less so.
Meanwhile, leaker Revengnus predicts that “Apple’s first foldable product” won’t be here until 2027, and it might not be the iPhone Flip at all. They suggest a foldable MacBook is coming in the X post, rather than an iPhone.
Samsung Display and LG Display are currently working on projects for Apple's foldable products, including the 20.25-inch. The release timeframe for Apple’s first foldable product is expected to be in 2027. https://t.co/2aM3LIUnJbDecember 11, 2023
Here's another reason to be dubious about the chances of Apple releasing an iPhone Flip in 2024: some believe that the company plans to test the waters with a foldable iPad before setting the technology loose on its biggest seller. Testing on a smaller market is probably a smart choice, given the teething problems Samsung had with its first Galaxy Fold back in 2018.
Without a foldable iPad on the horizon, it stands to reason that the iPhone Flip is even further down the road — assuming that Apple’s idea of a foldable isn’t an iPhone/iPad hybrid device, as implied by Kuo.
But even if that is the case, a recent report suggests that Apple has put the foldable tablet on the backburner while it works on its OLED transition. At the moment, there’s no “concrete timeline” for the tablet’s development, according to Nikkei Asia.
Does all of this mean that Apple definitely won’t release an iPhone Flip next year? No. Apple is famously secretive, and given the sheer number of foldable patents the company has, it seems a certainty that it’s playing with a variety of top-secret prototypes in Cupertino.
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Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.