Manufacturers like Samsung are already well on their way to achieve peak maturity in foldable display technology that keeps improving everyday as we speak. What started out as an experiment has turned into a genuine product segment that more and more companies are trying to market to. We’ve come a long way from the days of foldable display tech’s infancy but it seems like Apple is just about to enter them.
Now, I’m not trying to say that Apple first stint at a foldable display will be as questionable as, for instance, the very first-gen Samsung Galaxy Fold who’s protective layers were accidentally being peeled off by unaware customers. It will most likely be the most mature version of this technology, in fact, because that’s just how Apple works, they are almost always late to the game but it somehow is still always worth it.
Apple, in many ways, is similar to Disney in the sense that they are rarely ever the first to something, they let the whole thing play out and only try their hand when they are sure a product worthy enough can be created. Disney did this with Blu-Ray when they observed every single other studio adopt it before adopting it themselves. Same looks like to be the case with Apple and foldable displays.
Apple’s first ever foldable
Popular industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has just released information regarding Apple’s first outing in the foldable display market. According to the analyst, Apple is currently “actively testing” a foldable device with a 9-inch display that is set to come out in the next few years. To be specific, it’s a 9-inch foldable OLED display with pixel density somewhere between that of the latest iPad and the iPhone.
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. https://t.co/HGIDPFvdar
— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) April 1, 2022
As you can see in the tweet above, this product is set to debut in 2025. There is a working prototype being tested internally which includes a lot of additional features and technologies associated with foldable displays that will most likely be left out of the final product. It’s important to note that this is not the foldable iPhone that has been long-rumored. Instead, this 9-inch device will be a sort of hybrid of the iPad and iPhone, or maybe even just an iPad.
Ming-Chi Kuo says that Apple’s foldable development is focusing on three different sizes: small, medium and large. This 9-inch device falls in the medium category, therefore it is classed as either an iPad or an iPad-iPhone hybrid. The large foldable would most likely be a MacBook and the small foldable is the iPhone. Apple’s first foray into foldable displays would be seen on a medium size device with the foldable iPhone to follow up next.
Just last year, Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that Apple’s first foldable could be launching as soon as 2024 and it could be an iPhone but, of course, since then Kuo has updated his speculation to match with the current development at Apple, which is 2025. Right now, everything is a bit up in the air but Kuo is one of the most reliable and renowned analysts working today so his word adds a lot of credibility to these rumors.
And at the end of the day, that’s what all of this ultimately is, a rumor. Take everything you’ve read here with a heavy grain of salt as literally nothing is confirmed. Knowing Apple and how the tech industry works, things could change literally last-minute and the final product, whenever it may arrive, could be so different from the speculations that it could even fail to fall in designated categories. Regardless, Apple’s foldable tech is coming and it’s obvious the company would want to ensure that it arrives only when it’s truly ready.