In a note to clients Sunday, veteran Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted Cupertino will introduce its first-gen foldable iPhone in 2023.
According to Kuo’s research (h/t: MacRumors), the new model will likely feature an 8-inch foldable OLED display with QHD+ resolution.
The analyst, who predicts foldable iPhone shipments to reach 15 to 20 million units in fiscal 2023, adds that Samsung, which has more than 90% of the current foldable smartphone market, will provide displays while the manufacturing of silver nanowire-based touchscreens will be provided by Taiwan-based TPK.
Kuo also said he expects foldable models to become a “must-have” for all major smartphone brands. He bases his argument on future foldable silver nanowire-based tech devices which will require touch technology that supports multiple folds versus only a single fold in current foldable smartphones.
“After 5G, the foldable smartphone is the next innovative selling point of high-end models,” the analyst wrote, adding that foldable models will boost the next “super replacement cycle” for high-end models.
The analyst also says that over time Apple can dominate the foldable smartphone category and that the new trend “will blur the product segmentations between smartphones, tablets, and laptops.”
Kuo claims that Apple is already using the silver nanowire solution in its HomePod’s touch interface.
It should be noted that Cupertino has not announced any foldable phone models, and never discusses unannounced products.
Apple shares gained $1.09, or 0.83%, in midday trading Monday and changed hands at $132.55 each, bringing ticker’s 12-month upside to about 81 percent.