What Ming-Chi Kuo said about Apple’s mythical folding iPhone

From MacRumors’ “Kuo: Apple Could Launch Foldable iPhone With 7.5–8 Inch Display in 2023” posted Monday:

In a wide-ranging research note today outlining a roadmap for the iPhonelineup, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo shared a tidbit on Apple’s foldable ‌iPhone‌ plans, indicating that the company could launch a device with a 7.5–8 inch display in 2023.

A 2023 launch would be dependent on Apple being able to solve “key technology and mass production issues” this year. He says the product has “not yet officially kicked off,” so it appears to still be in the research stage and previous rumors have indicated Apple could still decide not to proceed with it.

My take: I never bought into this rumor, and I’m not sure Kuo does either.

See also: How reliable is Ming-Chi Kuo?


  1. Romeo A Esparrago Jr said:
    Mr. Philip, do u mean u don’t buy into it either?

    Isn’t it too soon for it to be at mythical status already? Vs the legendary Car? LOL

    March 3, 2021
    • Alan Birnbaum said:
      Like the mythical creature the ‘ Macalope ‘ ?

      March 3, 2021
  2. Romeo A Esparrago Jr said:
    My wife & I have been watching NetFlix Korean TV dramas during this COVID time & have seen folding phones being used.

    I saw one case where it turned from a smartphone to a small tablet for watching newscasts or a looking at a spreadsheet.

    However, I do like the use case shown where it folds the phone in half where it makes the large size get cut down for a better pocket fit.

    These were just 16 episode series so actual use, reliability, durability, quality over many years – no clue. All the food shown was beautiful perfection also, so there’s my caveat emptor.

    March 3, 2021
    • Bart Yee said:
      Heh, clever Samsung product placement. Yet Samsung struggles to sell even 2M of them per year so far.

      March 4, 2021
  3. Chris Ferebee said:
    Considering Apple’s strategy of growing the user base by building long-lasting products that serve secondary and tertiary price points years later… that would be a miracle.

    March 3, 2021
  4. Ralph McDarmont said:
    A folding phone sounds like an incredible warranty liability. Skip it Tim.

    March 3, 2021
  5. Fred Stein said:
    I keep wondering how and why?

    Can a foldable phone provide the ease of use? the one-handed operation? the ability to use the phone while standing or walking?

    If it is not as easy as using a current iPhone, why not just get a low-end iPad for the cases where one NEEDs the bigger screen. All caps, because current iPhones already lets me leave my laptop, wallet and keys at home. Now Apple Watch lets me leave the iPhone plus all the rest at home too.

    March 3, 2021
  6. Jerry Doyle said:
    Kuldip says Apple could launch a foldable iPhone with a 7.5-8 inch screen display in 2023. This sounds plausible since Apple is known to arrive late to the party. Apple is observing current foldable phone releases. We know that other companies soon will have their new foldable phones on the market coming this year for consumer sale. 2023 will have given Apple a good three years to observe competitors’ foldable phones flaws. I also suspect that Apple will wait patiently, as it did with releasing larger screen iPhone displays, to gauge consumer reception of competitors’ foldable models before venturing into this new market.

    In my travels to developing & third world countries, I see consumers who desire larger screens, but who want devices that are “highly mobile.” They use their devices for a multiplicity of activities from personal communication, entertainment & for transacting commerce. In well developed nations personal incomes afford citizens the ability to purchase multiple devices for each of those activities. In poorer countries, though, limited personal income demands one device must do for all those various activities. Additionally, remember that when the foldable phone is folded it still can be used as we use the iPhone. When unfolded, the device becomes better for entertainment venue or for transacting commerce. So, yes in that versatile format the foldable phone can provide the ease of use for the user.

    March 3, 2021
  7. Gregg Thurman said:
    I’m not sure Kuo does either.

    He’s sure left himself plenty of outs if none of these rumors pan out.

    Apple is known to arrive late to the party.

    Where’s the party? I haven’t seen one.

    March 3, 2021
    • John Konopka said:
      So far foldable phones seem more like Mark Twain’s talking dog. Every one is astounded to see one, no one cares what it says. In other words, it looks amazing, but what is the real use case?

      The problem is that with current technology that is publicly known, folding the device makes it quite thick, and there is the reliability issue.

      There is no point in folding a large iPad, nor a small iPhone. Maybe, as Romeo pointed out, a folding iPad mini could be interesting if they could get it thin enough, yet strong enough when unfolded. You would have something the size of a checkbook when folded, but the size of an iPad mini when opened.

      I’m sure Apple is investigating this and building samples. They have lots of time to bring something to market. The ones on the market now are crazy expensive.

      A problem for the folding gadgets is that standard iPhones and iPads are so good and getting better. Thinking about The Attacker’s Advantage, the new entrant should have some really good advantage and be cheap, even if it suffers in other categories. Bubble memory and writable optical devices kept trying to break into the storage market, but spinning hard drives kept improving and driving down price leaving them no way in.

      March 3, 2021
  8. Michael Goldfeder said:
    No doubt Elizabeth Warren is of the opinion that Apple would already have a folding phone if they weren’t buying back their stock.

    March 4, 2021

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