Analyst: Apple will have a line of foldable iPhones by 2025

Global foldable smartphone shipments will grow to 100 million by 2025 from under 1 million units in 2019, including a foldable iPhone from Apple, according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics. While high prices, poor display-yields, and widely-publicized incidents of questionable durability, primarily on Samsung’s part, are holding back the market for foldable smartphones today, but those problems will be solved in the long-term, analysts at Strategy Analytics say.

Apple foldable iPhone? Global Foldable Smartphone Shipments Forecast in 2019 to 2025
Source: Strategy Analytics. Note: numbers are rounded.

Ken Hyers, Director at Strategy Analytics, said in a statement, “Samsung was the world’s number one foldable smartphone vendor in 2019, followed by Huawei in second place. Samsung is top in Western regions, like the US, while Huawei is focusing on its home market of China. Rival brands, such as Motorola and TCL, will deliver their own new models in 2020 and look to grab a slice of the foldables pie. By 2025, every major player should have a foldables portfolio, including Apple.”

MacDailyNews Take: Again, is that a foldable phone in your pocket or a hockey puck? “Too thick when folded” is why it makes perfect sense for Apple to do a foldable display first with iPad, a device that is not carried in pockets and where thickness when folded is therefore not an issue.

Foldable iPhone? Apple U.S. Patent application illustration "Electronic devices with flexible displays and hinges"
Apple U.S. Patent application illustration “Electronic devices with flexible displays and hinges”

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17 Comments

  1. Just like iPhone didn’t have a cheap plastic keyboard, I doubt that Apple will take this route. I fully expect Apple to do something at the edge of technology that is barely possible now, using totally different techniques. Look at recent example in sci-fi (The Expanse, Picard). that’s where you’ll find examples of what Apple’s really working on. Just as the touch inf=terface on the iPhone was truly like magic when it debuted, the future phone will appear to be truly magic, too. It will astonish and delight us.

    1. From your mouth to God’s ears, but for sometime now, oh a decade or so, Apple hasn’t been in the forefront or on the bleeding edge. They wait, see what others do, work on their own prototypes, and in the end, bring out a product that is the best of what is currently available. Evbut eryone and their brother is typically ahead of Apple but Apple tends to provide the best of class.

      If you look at the new MacBook Pro 2019, for instance, everyone is singing its praises. It has an older keyboard to quite everyone who hated the new keyboards, it’s slightly larger, has fast processor options, massive storage options, and up to 64GB of RAM. It’s not revolutionary, but it kicks ass.

      Interestingly I’m seeing innovative moves from Microsoft, Samsung and others. Microsoft is starting a major push to Windows 10x which is more like iOS than MacOS. How interesting that is. Microsoft in doing so is also saying that Apple is on the forefront with iPad and that’s the direction they are headed in.

      1. They do learn well from other’s mistakes, that’s true. What it is not is pioneering. Where they do pioneer is in taking away, and the fan base not only allows it, they support it.

  2. Umm. Just not too jacked about the prospect. It’s cool to see i guess but who really wants a folding phone? Apple should just focus on nixing that hideous notch..

  3. At the moment they are flawed and offer no tangible improvement over current technology but at the expense of being far worse in so many areas. In five years time foldable screens might actually work and might not require the device to be abnormally thick and if that’s the case then of course Apple will have one.

  4. Prediction: The iphone will be replaced by 2024, and almost immediately that year no one will be using a smart phone anymore. Due to legal issues I cannot tell you what is coming, but it will be a paradigm shift.

  5. 2025 is plenty soon enough for me. Zack on JerryRigEverything showed how the Samsung Z-Flip didn’t have a glass display, at all. The display got scratches at a Mohs hardness rating of 2 and yet Samsung was saying it was actually a glass display. Maybe it’s some sort of hybrid plastic/glass, but it definitely isn’t a true glass display. I don’t want any smartphone with a plastic display that will be easily damaged and I also don’t want hinges that will ultimately fail. I honestly don’t see what is so darn special about a folding smartphone except that it takes up less room in your pocket when folded. I think a consumer has to give up too much of what is expected from a solid-slab smartphone and so a consumer is actually paying more for less.

    What’s so cool about flipping open or closing a smartphone as it only lasts a fraction of a second. A folding smartphone in a perfect world is a nice concept, but in reality it’s not all that practical. I’m not going to make any arrogant prediction, but in my opinion those folding smartphones from Motorola or Samsung are not going to have good sales and the consumers who buy them are going to have plenty of problems with them. Those folding smartphones are not durable enough for everyday use by the average user. Who wants to have to take special care with a smartphone? Not me.

    I respect both Samsung and Motorola for taking the risk of offering folding smartphones, but I don’t think the technology is ready at this point. I think Microsoft’s Surface Duo will have a better chance of success than the current folding smartphones. I don’t think Apple should be rushing to put out a folding smartphone just because other companies are offering them.

  6. I am not sure that we will see a folding iPhone. Apple has skipped technology trends in the past, and should the iGlasses be far enough down the track. I suspect lens projection system in those glasses, displaying “home screen” or whatever you are looking at, with gesture control of augmented icons. At that point why would you need a thick brick like, folding phone ?

  7. You are thinking of “bend” in a paradigm limited to today/now.

    Both hinges and scratches are linked to something hard…the screens of today. What has to emerge is a membrane, of sorts, that could both bend repeatedly and transmit. “Duh,” comes to mind when I write that…while Samsung releases a product that crease-fails soon after a rollout.

    Realistically, it could be tech currently extant, but its function not yet seen…”simple” tech re-appropriation. There was a time the world could imagine a keyboard NOT being physical. Then, the new solution became apparent/obvious and the old became ridiculous.

    Current offerings should never have been released from the lab…except for real-world testing.

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