- A foldable iPhone with 8-inch QHD+ flexible OLED display will launch in 2023.
- Apple will source these displays exclusively from SDC, Kuo notes.
- It will use TPK's silver nanowire touch solution over SDC's Y-Octa technology because of its advantages.
Apple will mark its entry into the foldable smartphone segment in a couple of years from now. The world's first foldable iPhone will reportedly sport an 8-inch QHD+ flexible OLED display and will debut in 2023.
The confirmation comes from well known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in a note to investors. Kuo cites industry survey for the forecast, including Apple's requested capacity plan. Based on that, it predicts that Apple will ship around 15-20 million units of foldable iPhone in 2023.
As for the phone itself, the foldable iPhone will come with an 8-inch QHD+ flexible OLED display. Apple will source these displays exclusively from SDC and have Samsung Foundry as the exclusive provider for Display Driver IC foundries.
Kuo further notes that the foldable iPhone will feature TPK's silver nanowire touch solution. As reported by MacRumors, the technology is said to have several advantages over SDC's Y-Octa technology. For instance, the technology will be able to support future devices with multiple folds on display. It is better or at par with SDC's tech for rollable and durable, medium to large size displays.
In order to "master the technology" before it uses it for the foldable iPhone, Apple is already using silver nanowire for the touch interface of the HomePod, Kuo noted.
Foldable smartphones have become the new flagship range for several top OEMs, including Samsung and Huawei. Kuo notes that it is inevitable for Apple to enter the segment in the coming years as the form factor will become a "must-have" for all major smartphone brands.
What's more, the application of the display technology will not be restricted to foldable smartphones. As per Kuo, foldable displays will give rise to larger devices in the future to replace tablets and laptops. It will "blur the product segmentations" between these gadgets in the future.
Kuo believes that Apple is well set to emerge as the "biggest winner" in the foldable device segment once it enters. Predicting a massive demand for the foldable iPhone as and when it comes, Kuo says that Apple will ship 15 to 20 million foldable iPhones in 2023.
Apple has not officially started any development on a foldable iPhone yet. Kuo noted that the 2023 timeline would depend on Apple solving major challenges with technology and mass production of the foldable iPhone.