What you need to know
- Apple was previously expected to announce a foldable iPhone as soon as 2023.
- A new report by display analyst Ross Young now suggests we could be waiting until 2025 at the very earliest.
- A bendy iPhone is high on some people's wishlist and this new news will be disappointing.
Apple is unlikely to ship a foldable iPhone until 2025 at the earliest according to display analyst Ross Young.
In a wider research note on the world of foldable smartphones, Display Supply Chain Consultants analyst Ross Young has shared details on the current situation in terms of when Apple will ship a foldable iPhone — and it's bad news for those hoping to be bending their iPhone in half as soon as next year.
While previous expectations were that Apple could have a foldable iPhone ready to go in 2023, that has now been pushed all the way to 2025 at the earliest based on information from Young's "supply chain contacts."
The news is disappointing but perhaps not all that surprising. Apple has a history of preferring to be late to the party than ship a product that it feels is flawed in some way. Foldable devices still have their problems, although things have improved considerably since the arrival of the first Galaxy Fold a few years ago.
None of this means that things aren't progressing in terms of iPhone displays, however. This year's iPhone 14 Pro devices are expected to ditch the notch in favor of a hole-punch and pill-shaped cutout, for example. The removal of the notch is still a poor substitute for a foldable iPhone, however.
Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.
Apple has to continue to push off foldables, because Apple really doesn't want the public to know that Apple will NEVER be able to create a foldable like the Galaxy Z Fold 3, Oppo Find N, Mate X, Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold, Microsoft Duo 2, or any other upcoming foldable, like the Pixel Fold. Android can make smartphones that are 2 in 1 foldable devices that are both a smartphone and a tablet in one physical device, because Google and Android went down a path where they encouraged their developers to create one app that supports both smartphones and tablets, as well as support app scaling. All of that is needed for any 2 in 1 type foldable devices. Apple went the opposite direction with their app ecosystem, by encouraging their developers to create separate iPhone apps, and separate iPad apps. That ultimately means that Apple will NEVER be able to create a foldable device that is both an iPhone and a iPad in one physical folding device. NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN. Think people Apple claims to now have around 500,000 iPad specific apps, and there is roughly the same number of iPhone apps as well, or in other words the iPhone version of the iPad counter part app. Sure there is a lot more iPhone apps, but I am talking about the two version of the same app. Where iOS developers took the time to create separate iPad app and a separate iPhone app versions. Example Adobe Lightroom app. There is two versions of the same app (iPhone, iPad). Only one of those versions of that app can be installed on a particular iOS device. So if Apple did create a device that is both an iPhone and a iPad, then which app would be installed? You can't install both versions of the same app on a single device. Even if you could, then how would folding and unfold of those two app versions work? If a user is using the iPad app version on this foldable, then what happens to the iPhone app version? Clearly there is no app continuity today between any iOS apps. See foldable Android device can do this because they are always working with only one physical app that supports both smartphones and tablets. That is why Android can support foldables. Even the latest Android 12L is adding in more support for not only tablets, but foldables as well. I think Apple is going to try and get their AR/VR/MR headsets and glasses off the ground first, and if their AR/VR/MR takes off, then Apple will skip foldables, altogether.
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