Top analyst says foldable iPhone coming in 2023; up to 20 million units will ship

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Back in March, TF International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said an 8-inch foldable iPhone could be launched in 2023. Kuo sent a note to investors on Monday, and it was obtained by 9to5Mac. In the memo, Kuo said, citing sources, that Apple will ship 15 million to 20 million foldable iPhone devices by 2023.

While the specifications and design of the collapsible iPhone are not known, Kuo says Samsung will be the exclusive supplier of the collapsible OLED panels that Apple will use. The previous analyst, who originally said the collapsible iPhone would have a 7.5-inch to 8-inch screen, has narrowed it down to an 8-inch screen.

Kuo had an interesting passage in his note. While Samsung is the world leader in collapsible handsets, the analyst said that thanks to Apple’s cross-product eco system, Apple will be the biggest winner in the foldable market. At the end of last year, there was speculation that Apple had Foxconn built two different foldable prototypes.

One foldable was designed as the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold, while the other model looked similar Galaxy Z Flip. The former opens from a 6.2-inch screen for a 7.6-inch tablet, and the latter opens from a pocket size to become a 6.7-inch handset with a high and thin screen. Allegedly, Apple is leaning towards the clamshell design of the Galazy Z Flip.

In the note, the analyst said: “At present, the product position for foldable smartphones is primarily to integrate smartphone and tablet. But we believe that the foldable smartphone is only one of the applications in the foldable design. We predict that foldable devices will blur the product segments between smartphones, tablets and laptops in the future. With its advantages over ecosystems and hardware design advantages, Apple will be the biggest winner in the new foldable device trend. “
If Kuo is correct, the collapsible iPhone has a display slightly larger than the 7.9-inch iPad mini. One thing to consider, if Apple comes with an 8-inch screen for a collapsible iPhone, it will suggest that its design is similar to the Galaxy Z Fold, as an 8-inch screen may be too large for a clamshell design.

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