Will Apple be too late with its first foldable iPhone launch in 2023?

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Samsung launched its first foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Fold, back in late 2019. Since then, the company has launched three more foldable devices, including the Galaxy Z Flip, Galaxy Z Flip 5G, and the Galaxy Z Fold 2. There is no real competition to Samsung’s foldable phones right now, but the company could start facing stiff competition from Apple in 2023.

According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple will launch its first foldable iPhone sometime in 2023. Kuo’s research analysis notes that the device could feature an 8-inch foldable OLED screen with QHD+ resolution (3,200 x 1,800 pixels). That translates to an aspect ratio of 16:9, which is a lot broader than the Galaxy Z Fold 2’s 7.6-inch foldable display (11.24:9).

Apple will be four years late to the foldable smartphone party

It is still unclear whether the foldable iPhone’s screen will fold horizontally or vertically, but going by its screen size, it is possible that it will fold vertically. Even though Apple will be four years late to the party, it is reportedly expecting to sell up to 20 million units that year.

Samsung Display is expected to be the exclusive supplier of foldable OLED display panels for the foldable iPhone. Even though LG was rumored to be helping Apple with foldable screens, that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. Instead of using Samsung’s Y-Octa technology, the device could use TPK’s silver nanowire touch solution, which is said to be more durable and capable of multiple folds.

Samsung could be well-prepared to compete with the first foldable iPhone

Even though Samsung could face stiff competition from Apple in the foldable space, the launch of the first foldable iPhone could help Samsung in another way. We have already explained in a previous article how Apple’s entry could popularize the foldable smartphone market, in turn helping Samsung in shipping even more Galaxy Z series smartphones.

With its ecosystem in place, Apple could later bring foldable screen technology to its tablets and even laptops. Kuo notes in his research that Apple could emerge as the biggest brand in the foldable device segment over the next few years. But Samsung might not rest on its past laurels as well. The South Korean firm is heavily investing in material sciences and software design.

Future Galaxy Z series devices will have smoother displays, more durable screen protection, an IP rating for dust and water resistance, and stronger designs. A patent filed by Samsung showcased that the company might be working on a device that has a dual-foldable screen and an S Pen and that it can switch between a smartphone and a tablet.

  • Model: SM-F916B
  • Dimensions: Folded: 159.2 x 68.0 x 16.8 mm
    Unfolded: 159.2 x 128.2 x 6.9 mm
  • Display: 7.6 inch / 193.04 mm Dynamic AMOLED 2X
  • CPU: Snapdragon 865+
  • Camera: 12MP

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