While the rumor mill is churning out iPhone 14 and MacBook Air 2022 speculation, Apple is tipped to be planning future products that involve a nine-inch foldable OLED display, which may be a hybrid between an iPhone and an iPad.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts the Cupertino tech giant's first foldable product will launch in 2025 "at the earliest", stating we may not be seeing a foldable iPhone, but rather a foldable iPad or combination of the two popular devices. This could be similar in size to the 8.3-inch iPad mini, but with the folding ability of the Samsung Galaxy Fold 3.
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As Kuo points out, Apple is "actively testing" a foldable nine-inch OLED device with pixel per inch (PPI) between an iPhone and iPad. However, since the device is still in its testing stages, the display size may not be what's seen in the final product, predicted to come out in 2025 or later.
I think the priority order of sizes of Apple foldable product development is medium, large, & small. Apple is actively testing foldable OLED about 9" (PPI between iPhone & iPad, adoption of TDDI). The test is to verify key technologies and may not be the final product spec. https://t.co/phbdIhFO3CApril 1, 2022
Apple's first foldable product has been up in the air, as previous reports indicated we would see an iPhone Fold of sorts in 2023. This has now been pushed back, and Kuo believes it may not be as simple as just a foldable iPhone. Back in February, oft-reliable Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) CEO Ross Young claimed we could see a 20-inch all-screen foldable MacBook — being able to function like a MacBook with an on-screen keyboard when folded, and like an iMac monitor when unfolded.
Young states it will likely come later than 2025, meaning this could be when Apple introduces a new line of foldable products. Still, this is a while away, and only time will tell if the company ends up offering foldable iPhone/iPad hybrids or foldable all-screen MacBooks.
Thanks to the success of Samsung's Galaxy Flips 3 and Fold 3, many more foldable devices are starting to creep in. This includes the Honor Magic V, Oppo Find N, and the heavily rumored Google Pixel Fold. We're sure to see more updates down the pipeline, so stay tuned.