Foldable iPhone delayed as Apple looking instead at larger foldable devices - report

However, one piece of long-awaited functionality is likely to arrive in 2024.
However, one piece of long-awaited functionality is likely to arrive in 2024. Photo credit: Getty Images

Hopes of a foldable iPhone in the short term appear to have been dashed after a respected analyst revised his predictions and said the wait will be much longer.

Ming-Chi Kuo had previously said the device was expected to be launched in 2024. The move would give Apple entrance to the foldables market that Samsung embraced with its Galaxy Z Flip and Fold range of phones.

However Kuo, in a series of tweets, said Apple was now likely to prioritise medium and larger foldable devices before embracing smaller ones such as phones.

"Apple is actively testing a foldable OLED about 9-inches," Kuo wrote. "The test is to verify key technologies and may not be the final product spec.

"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 and iPhone."

That corroborates a previous report from supply chain consultant Ross Young, who also has a strong record with technology predictions.

"We delayed our expectations for Apple entering the foldable smartphone market by two years to 2025," Young wrote in February.

"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 may be developing a brand-new dual use device, he said, possibly even a large 19 or 20-inch all-screen foldable Macbook.

"This size could create a new category and would result in a true dual use product, a notebook with a full-size keyboard when folded and for use as a monitor when not folded and used with an external keyboard."

Meanwhile the analysts agree that under-display FaceID functionality is coming to the iPhone 16 in 2024.

Kuo said it was less of a technical issue and more of a marketing one, in a tweet.