Analysts say foldable iPhones are in the works, but would not launch before 2021
It is still unclear whether Samsung on Huawei will be the first to deliver a foldable smartphone, yet more and more companies are willing to explore new design possibilities offered by flexible displays. As a company that prides itself on innovation, Apple also appears to have its sights set on foldable devices, and previous rumors were reporting that the first foldable iPhones could hit the market in 2020 in order for the company to maintain a strong global market presence. However, a new UBS analysis shows that this might not be the case.
According to the latest UBS survey and market analysis, the first foldable devices coming from Apple may turn out to be iPads and these are expected to be released in 2021. Other analysts from IHS Market believe that the foldable iPads will offer 5G connectivity and will launch after the first 5G iPhones, which are scheduled for mid-2020. Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak also hinted at foldable iPhones, but did not really mention any possible release dates.
The UBS survey further points out that over a third of the inquired Apple customers are interested in purchasing a foldable phone, but the price expectations are clearly not in line with Apple’s current policies. Some customers said they would pay up to US$600 for an upcoming foldable iPhone, yet the cheapest 2018 iPhone model starts at US$749.
Foldable models will probably cost even more due to novelty and initial high production costs. Furthermore, Apple is probably going to be forced to move most of the Chinese manufacturing lines in neighboring countries with the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, and this would bring even more increased production costs for the next few years.