Fold iPhone conceptSource: Rene Ritchie / iMore

What you need to know

  • A new report claims Apple is "actively testing" a 9-inch foldable device.
  • Ming-Chi Kuo says the device is being tested "to verify key technologies" and may not be the final product spec.
  • He further predicts that Apple will release a foldable iPhone in 2025 "at the earliest."

Apple is reportedly testing a 9-inch foldable device according to one supply chain insider, who predicts the device could launch in 2025 "at the earliest."

In response to Friday reports that Apple is collaborating with LG on new foldable OLED displays, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, a highly-renowned leaker of accurate information about Apple's future plans, states that the company is "actively testing a 9-inch foldable device.

Taking to Twitter Kuo stated:

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.

Kuo notes the testing device is for the purpose of ensuring the technology works, so many not be the final product spec. Kuo further speculates that he thinks the order of priority for Apple's foldable development schedule is "medium, large & small." Kuo says the new device will adopt an integrated Touch and Display screen (TDDI).

He went on to say that it was clear he needed to revise a prediction he had made stating that Apple could launch a foldable in 2024, stating that 2025 now appears to be a more realistic goal:

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. 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.

As noted, he now predicts that this device isn't going to launch until 2025, and may be either a foldable iPad or a foldable iPad/iPhone hybrid.

We have heard multiple previous reports that Apple is working on folding devices, including a new iPhone. Ross Young stated in February that DSCC had also delayed its expectations of a foldable iPhone to 2025:

We delayed our expectations for Apple entering the foldable smartphone market by two years to 2025 after discussions with our supply chain contacts. The company does not appear to be in a hurry to enter the foldable smartphone market, and it may even take longer than that.

Apple is expected to replace its current best iPhone, the iPhone 13, with a new model later this year that will be decidedly not foldable, sporting a better processor and camera upgrades compared to the previous model.