Sales of foldable smartphones grow, but I still don’t think we’ll see an ‘iPhone Fold’

Well, this isn’t exactly a firm prediction: according to Alpha Biz (via DigiTimes), Apple might release a foldable iPhone in 2027 — or cancel the project entirely.

I still don’t think Apple will release a foldable iPhone, but Counterpoint Research says that in the first quarter of 2023, global foldable shipments grew 64% year-over-year to 2.5 million units.

The research group also predicts that Apple “is likely” to enter the foldable smartphone market in 2025. Addressing the big question around the company’s entry into the foldable market, Counterpoint Senior Analyst Park said, “Apple is still absent from our short-term forecasts. However, since overall consumer response to foldable phones is improving and Apple will be possibly releasing non-phone foldable products soon, the brand’s participation in the foldable smartphone market is likely to occur after 2025.”

However, the Sellers Research Group (that’s me) thinks we’ll see a curved iPhone before a foldable one. Why?

As noted by the Make Use Of website, since the screen on a foldable phone folds and unfolds several times a day, it wrinkles down the middle and leaves a noticeable crease. This can prove to be interrupting in daily use as you slide your finger across the screen.

Also, as the article notes, dust is a big problem for foldable phones because they have a lot of moving parts. If any small dust particle enters the phone body via any one of its openings, it can cause problems and potentially kill the device. 

Finally, Make Use Of notes that making a foldable phone means sacrificing a lot of internal real estate to house all the moving parts. The hinge itself takes up a lot of space. 

“Due to this, foldable phones often have mediocre battery life—at least not as good as what they could have if the moving parts didn’t take up so much space,” notes Make Use Of.

As for an “iPhone Curve,” Apple has filed for various patents that hint at a curved iPhone with a wraparound display. For example, patent filing 202200111822 is for an “electronic device with wrap around display.” It’s designed to expand “the functionality of portable electronics devices by providing a more efficient mechanism for presenting visual content is disclosed. 

If you’d like to help support AWT (and help us reach our goal of eliminating ads),  consider becoming a patron. We offer at least three patron-exclusive posts each week. You can start at only $2 per month (though $5/month gets you the exclusives). 

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.