In a note seen by MacRumors, Kuo went on to say that he believes Apple will be able to sell up to 20 million units of the new device in the same year.
Based on our latest industry survey, we forecast that Apple will likely launch a foldable iPhone with an 8-inch QHD+ flexible OLED display in 2023, with SDC as the exclusive display supplier and Samsung Foundry as the exclusive DDI foundry provider. Based on Apple’s requested capacity plan, we predict that the foldable iPhone shipments will reach 15-20 million units in 2023. We expect that the foldable iPhone will adopt TPK’s silver nanowire touch solution because of its several advantages over SDC’s Y-Octa technology.
While Apple is yet to enter the folding device market, Kuo also believes that the company is uniquely placed thanks to its position in smartphone, tablet, and notebook manufacturing. He also expects the lines between those three devices to blur.
At present, the product position of foldable smartphones is mainly to integrate the smartphone and tablet. But we believe that the foldable smartphone is only one of the applications of the foldable design. We predict that foldable devices will blur the product segmentations between smartphones, tablets, and laptops in the future. With its cross-product ecosystems and hardware design advantages, Apple will be the biggest winner in the new foldable device trend.
We’ve heard tons of rumors over the years that Apple is working on a foldable device, often as an iPhone that opens up to something larger like an iPad mini. Kuo doesn’t go into those kinds of details specifically, but an 8-inch device does sound like an iPad mini of some description.