Regardless of which form factor Apple chooses, the release of a foldable iOS powered device remains years away. The tipster wrote that Apple is “definitely working and testing multiple prototypes with certain foldable displays.” But the most interesting part of his tip is when he says that Apple is not yet sure that the demand for foldable handsets is a sustainable trend.
With the Google Pixel Fold reported to be back in the mix, this seems like a good moment to talk about the suspected, nay, long-rumored foldable iPhone. Apple is in the process of testing many prototypes, according to tipster DylanDKT (via AppleInsider), which is the same storey we’ve been hearing about for quite some time. The question is whether Apple wants its foldable iPhone to convert from an iPhone to an iPad or flip open to transform from a compact pocketable square to an iPhone, which appears to be unanswered. Apple, according to a source, isn’t convinced that the demand for foldable phones is a long-term trend.
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A foldable iPhone might not arrive until next year at the earliest – Tipster explains why Apple is waiting before it releases a foldable iPhone. A foldable iPhone might not arrive until next year at the earliest. Even though Samsung itself published a blog post to state that deliveries of its foldables soared by 400% last year, and that consumers are switching brands just to get their hands on innovative foldable phones, the tipster says that Apple’s position is that “There are also concerns as to whether foldable smartphones will continue to have a place in the market or will fall into obsolescence.” In other words, it appears that Apple isn’t sure that the foldable smartphone market can be sustained and that there might not be enough consumers out there willing to spend big bucks on these devices. It’s the old “just because we could doesn’t mean we should” statement that fictional character Dr. Ian Malcolm (played superbly by Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park) said about InGen scientists using Dinosaur DNA to create a theme park.
That iconic comment went, “Your scientists were so pre-occupied with whether they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.” However, it would seem that Samsung’s shipment data would indicate that there is a legitimate demand for foldable phones. Apple seems to be sitting back, watching its rivals, and taking notes about any mistakes that they make in this sector of the smartphone industry so as not to repeat them.
The tipster adds that Apple’s concern is to make sure that a foldable handset “is not a regression from the current form factor of the iPhone.” Other tipsters expect Apple to deliver a foldable phone by 2023 at the earliest. The company has applied for several patents and has also been awarded some for innovations related to a foldable phone. In November, the company was awarded a patent for a hinge made up of composite materials making it lighter and not as bulky. Kuo expects Apple to ship 15 million to 20 million foldables in 2023
As Apple said in the patent, “If care is not taken, hinge structures may be bulky, weak, and prone to slippage. This can make it difficult to use a laptop computer or other electronic device into which the hinge structures have been incorporated.” This past July, TF International’s reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, forecast that Apple will ship 15 million to 20 million foldable iPhones in 2023. Kuo believes that Apple has decided to use a form factor for its foldable that is similar to the Galaxy Z Fold instead of the clamshell fold used on the Galaxy Z Flip. He states that the 8-inch internal tablet-sized screen will be supplied by Samsung. Kuo also stated that even though Samsung currently owns a huge chunk of the foldable market, when the dust settles Apple will end up as the leader in foldables thanks to its cross-product eco-system.
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