Most analysts expect Apple to wait until 2020 to offer a foldable iPhone

Samsung’s “Galaxy Fold resembles a conventional smartphone but opens like a book to reveal a second display the size of a small tablet at 7.3 inches (18.5 cm),” Stephen Nellis and Hyunjoo Jin report for Reuters. “[Starting at US$1980], it will go on sale from April 26.”

“The phone, which can operate three apps simultaneously and boasts six cameras, also challenges the notion of what a phone can cost, debuting at nearly twice the price of current top-of-the-line models from Apple and Samsung itself. ‘Due to price, it’s likely to be sold mainly to early adopters. Prices are key to expanding sales,’ said former Samsung mobile executive Kim Yong-serk, who is now a professor at Sungkyunkwan University in Korea,” Nellis and Jin report. “‘It will help Samsung burnish an image as an innovative company, but it is unlikely to be profitable. I expect Apple to wait say for one year and come up with foldable phones with more features, as they did with the smartwatch,’ he said.”

“‘We believe it will be difficult to achieve meaningful sales with a 7.3-inch screen,’ Meritz Securities analysts said in a note to clients. ‘For it to succeed, it has to evolve further so that it can support 10-inch or bigger screen with multiple foldings,'” Nellis and Jin report. “Most analysts expect Apple to wait until 2020 to match the foldable phone.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Galaxy Fold “resembles a conventional smartphone,” if a “conventional smartphone” were a brick. The thing is 14 mm – 17 mm thick on the side with the hinge! For comparison, an iPhone XS is just 7.7 mm thin. Even the Motorola RAZR V3 circa 2004 was just 13.9 mm when closed.

As per “innovation,” given their sordid and sullied track record, the jury is still out on how many of Apple’s patents (see below) that Samsung has infringed.

As we wrote yesterday, “We’ll happily wait for the day when foldable displays can be manufactured in the massive quantities required for a real iPhone, thanks.”

We’ll see a mess of weird attempts before Apple shows how it’s to be done, as usual.MacDailyNews, January 23, 2019

As with fingerprint and facial recognition, when Apple debuts a foldable iPhone, then foldable smartphones will have been done right. — MacDailyNews, January 17, 2019

Samsung announces foldable 4.6- to 7.3-inch ‘Galaxy Fold’ phone with giant off-center notch, starts at $1,980 – February 20, 2019
Xiaomi reveals dual-folding smartphone prototype (with video) – January 23, 2019
Samsung’s foldable Galaxy phone will cost ‘twice the price of a premium phone’ – January 18, 2019
Lenovo planning to resurrect Razr as a foldable $1,500 cellphone – January 17, 2019
Corning’s bendable Gorilla Glass glass could shape the foldable phones of the future – December 6, 2018
Can foldable phones help Samsung copy Apple? – November 7, 2018
Apple granted a second patent for a folding iPhone with flexible hinge – October 16, 2018
Apple gets 49 new U.S. patents including a foldable iPhone and an iPhone design invented by Steve Jobs – September 4, 2018
BoA Merrill Lynch: Apple is prepping a ‘foldable’ iPhone; U.S. and China trade tensions not an issue for Apple – March 23, 2018
Apple seeks patent for a foldable iPhone – November 28, 2017
Apple teams up with LG Display for foldable iPhone due to concerns over tech leaks to Samsung – October 11, 2017
Apple, LG Display discuss OLED display deal for 2019 – September 7, 2017
LG Display to supply OLED panels to Apple – July 31, 2017
Apple to invest $2.70 billion in LG Display’s OLED production – July 28, 2017
Apple and LG Display plan to derail Samsung’s OLED expansion plans – July 25, 2017
LG Display to invest $3.56 billion in flexible OLED plant – May 30, 2017
Apple patent details foldable iPhone – January 26, 2017
Apple granted U.S. patent for bendable or foldable iPhone using advanced carbon nanotube structures – November 1, 2016
Apple is granted another patent for new flexible handset design – November 22, 2016


  1. Don’t care about foldable phones, to me over long term usage, I would think there would be potential failure issues. If Apple never made one, would not care, and if they do make one, probably would not consider one for a couple cycles as I would not trust their overall reliability.

    1. Like materials bending fatigue?

      I won’t be upgrading my iPhone X until probably 2020. For the first time since the iPhone was introduced I feel less of a need to upgrade as the X does a superb job and nothing since is all that compelling except improved cameras.

        1. Since the only thing bending really in the new devices is the display I doubt Liquid Metal would have any influence. Everything else that appears to be bending are likely hinges. Given Samsung has spent about a decade of R&D on their flexible display tech it is more likely Apple, should they decide to follow, will be buying their first displays from Samsung.

  2. Not crazy about this craze of wanting ever larger screen of smartphones. The term “phablet” exquisitely shows what it really is. It’s a poor wo/man’s solution in an effort to satisfy both the portability and screen size in one device and one price, which is an inherently conflicting requirement. Understand that everybody has their own unique requirements and preferences. But this foldable thing is in its extreme. I never want to lug around this monster only for occasional use of the unfolded screen. One has to compromise on the size, but going back to the roots of what the mobile phone should be, I would rather carry a palm size phone for communications, GPS and PIM functions etc, and keep a small tablet on standby, i.e., 2 separate devices. Of course YMMV and that’s the way it should be. And…if/when Apple should follow this “innovation”, expect the price in the neighbourhood of $3000. It’s not even a poor wo/man’s solution any more anyway, lol

    1. I see where you’re coming from. When smartphones started appearing I preferred having a separate PDA and phone. Give it time and I’m sure the market for a single phone/folding-tablet device will improve.

  3. It’s here already in the lab.
    “Apple files patent for foldable iPhone, on the eve of foldable Samsung Galaxy (images)” Apple Inc. is joining the other major phone manufacturers in the next big trend: foldable smartphones. Last week, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published preliminary drawings of a new Apple screen that’s theoretically capable of folding in half, like a clamshell, or in thirds, like a triangle. Samsung, meanwhile, is charging ahead with its own foldable phone plans. …

  4. That Samsung folding smartphone looks nice, but not $2000 nice. It might be a technical marvel, but I don’t think it’s going to sell in huge numbers. I still prefer the less complicated slab smartphone. The current large display smartphones are more than enough for me as I doubt I’ll need to be multitasking on a smartphone. I’m glad Samsung is offering the folding smartphone because they’re pushing the limits. It will be interesting to see if consumers go for it. The tech-heads seem to be quite excited over folding smartphones but I don’t think the average smartphone user has a need for such a device.

    1. First mobile phones were clumsy. As with smartphones till now I’m certain the new device class will become thinner over time. Flexible displays are really amazing tech.

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