Analyst group CCS Insight made a surprising prediction about Apple’s possible transition into the foldable device market in the next two years.
CCS Insight said Apple will break with the foldable smartphone trend, but will likely release an iPad with a foldable screen in 2024.
This is a marked departure from competitors who have already launched foldable smartphones, such as the Samsung Galaxy Fold, Huawei’s Mate X, Xiaomi’s Mix Mix Fold, and Motorola’s Razr foldable phone.
Meanwhile, Microsoft previously previewed the tablet-sized Surface Neo that offers dual screens, with a hinge in the middle.
But Microsoft did not put it on the market.
Instead, it released the Surface Duo (a foldable device the size of a smartphone) that is currently on sale.
But now, CCS Insight predicted that Apple would soon join the folding tech movement, by introducing a foldable device, the iPad with a foldable screen, in 2024.
This prediction came after CCS Insight published her Tuesday’s annual forecast reportThe group’s analysts make forecasts about products and future trends
In its latest report, CCS Insight predicted that Apple would launch a foldable iPad within two years rather than starting with a foldable iPhone.
“Right now, it doesn’t make sense for Apple to make a foldable iPhone,” said Ben Wood, head of research at CCS Insight. CNBC in an interview. “We think they will avoid this trend and possibly dip their toe in water with the foldable iPad.”
“A foldable iPhone would be a very, very risky for Apple,” Wood said. “First, it would have to be incredibly expensive to not take apart existing iPhones.”
The analyst also said that the foldable iPhone will likely need to cost around $2,500. Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro Max with the most storage, and currently the most expensive model, costs around $1,599.
Wood also said that if Apple had any technical issues with the foldable phone, it would be a “crazy fit” with critics attacking Apple over the issues.
However, Apple “has no choice but to respond as the trend toward foldable devices is gaining momentum,” Wood was quoted as saying by CNBC, and then the company would start with an iPad.
Wood said it would give Apple a chance to learn how to implement and scale foldable screen technology as well as “breathe new life” into the iPad range.
Apple was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.
long time come?
There has been previous speculation about Apple’s intentions with foldable products.
Back in February 2020 for example, Apple was granted a patent for a foldable device with a unique hinge mechanism, fueling speculation that the iPad maker was developing a foldable iPhone.
This patent revealed that it used a hinge rather than a foldable screen per say. In fact, the hinge mechanism from Apple will ensure proper separation between the first and second parts of the screen.
Essentially, when the device is opened (according to the patent), the movable flaps will extend to cover the gap, then retract when the device is folded back up.
Then in May 2021, Apple observer (TFI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo) predicted that Apple would likely launch a foldable iPhone in 2023.
Then, earlier this year, market research firm Display Supply Chain Consultants said Apple was unlikely to enter the foldable smartphone market until 2025 at the earliest, CNBC reported.
However, the company said that Apple is exploring foldable technology for screens of around 20 inches. The market research firm said that could focus on a new foldable notebook product.
Meanwhile, CNBC also reported that CCS Insight predicted that Apple would continue investing in its chip design.
Currently, the Cupertino giant designs its own chips for the iPhone and iPad. It relies on US chipmaker Qualcomm for modems that allow these devices to connect to mobile Internet networks for 5G connectivity.
However, CCS Insight said Apple will likely integrate its 5G modem into the A-series processors for a “single-chip” solution for iPhones in 2025.
In November 2021, it was reported that Apple would weed out its troublesome supplier relationship with Qualcomm and 5G modems in iPhones. The report stated that Apple will move from 2023 to designing its own iPhone 5G modem, and the 4nm chips will be manufactured by long-serving partner TSMC.
Apple will use a special iPhone 5G modem design in 2023 – report
This step is not unexpected. Apple has had a troubled history with iPhone modems, and in July 2019 it acquired Intel’s mobile modem business for $1 billion in an effort to determine its fate for this vital component.
Apple spends $1 billion to buy Intel Modem Biz
Apple in ‘Advanced Conversations’ to Acquire Intel Modem Business
Apple explores Intel modem purchase – report
spoil the modem
The acquisition of Intel’s modem business has given Apple the tools to design its own modems for iPhones to connect to 5G networks.
The acquisition of Intel also signaled the gradual end of an intensely uncomfortable relationship between Apple and Qualcomm.
Apple has been forced to use Intel modems in its iPhones for a while, after it failed to pay huge royalties between Apple and Qualcomm in 2018.
Intel and Apple Discuss iPhone Chip Deal – Report
In its lawsuit, Qualcomm alleged that Apple developed a “complex plan” to steal proprietary information and share it with Intel and others over several years, in order to lower its own costs.
Qualcomm accuses Apple of stealing secret technology
Apple, in turn, accused Qualcomm of abusing its market dominance, and said the fees Qualcomm had charged were unfair.
Apple sues Qualcomm in London courts over iPhone technical fees
At the same time, Apple wasn’t really happy with Intel (or maybe just its price), and in July 2018, Apple was reportedly considering moving away from using Intel 5G modems in future iPhones.
Apple will drop the Intel 5G chip for iPhone 2020 – report
Apple has also reportedly been losing confidence in Intel’s ability to meet its deadline for 5G modems (it should be remembered that Apple was very late in delivering a 5G compatible iPhone to market).
Apple loses confidence in Intel’s 5G chip deadline – report
This lack of faith in Intel led Apple to surprise many in April 2019, when it accepted and chose Qualcomm, halting all legal proceedings in between.
Apple surprised by Qualcomm’s settlement
Apple’s £21 billion patent lawsuit against Qualcomm reaches court
That settlement saw Apple agree to make an undisclosed payment to Qualcomm, and use Qualcomm’s modem chips going forward.
Qualcomm says Apple has $7 billion in revenue
But Apple didn’t forget about it, and it had other long-term plans, which CSS Insight suggested were in the works.
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