UBS Predicts Foldable iPhone or iPad by 2021, But Skepticism Abounds


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Apple will likely launch a foldable device within the next two years, analysts at investment bank UBS predict. In a research note obtained by CNBC, the analysts said the device is more likely to be an iPad than an iPhone, and they also believe it is more likely to launch in 2021 than 2020.

Emphasis should be placed on "predict," as this is likely just speculation, and proven sources like Ming-Chi Kuo or Mark Gurman have yet to report that Apple is actively developing a foldable iPhone or iPad.

That's not the only reason to be skeptical. As noted by VentureBeat's Jeremy Horwitz, folding display technology is still in its infancy, as evidenced by the troubled launch of Samsung's Galaxy Fold, which experienced serious display issues that led the device to be postponed for several months.

Apple also has a reputation for releasing thin, sleek devices, and early folding smartphones are anything but that. That doesn't mean Apple can't do it better, but 2020 or 2021 could be quite an ambitious timeframe for a foldable iPhone or iPad that upholds the company's strict industrial design standards.

Rumors of a foldable iPhone have popped up on numerous occasions over the past few years. In both 2016 and 2017, for example, it was reported that Apple was working with LG on a foldable iPhone. And in 2018, Bank of America analyst Wamsi Mohan predicted that a foldable iPhone will launch in 2020.

Apple has filed several patents for a folding iPhone, so it has at least explored the idea, but whether it happens any time soon remains up for debate.

Article Link: UBS Predicts Foldable iPhone or iPad by 2021, But Skepticism Abounds


macrumors 68020
Oct 22, 2014
known but velocity indeterminate
Unless they can make them similar thickness to non-folding brethren and highly robust and reliable I'm not interested. I'd expect by the time those things happen we'll be on the cusp of highly capable wearable tech instead (e.g. watches with lots of processing power linked to AR glasses for display)
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macrumors 6502a
Jul 26, 2012
Gimmick, high price tag. Sounds like Appels MO to me. But is there a market for a plastic screen that scratches more than a grumpy cat getting its tummy rubbed. Maybe? If anybody can roll a market up a hill its Apple. But I think most people want better glass, sapphire if possible, not a plastic screen.


macrumors regular
May 16, 2012
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Totally unnecessary. But what I would love to see here is far more durability in the display element(s) itself/themselves so that there is no need for breakable materials, such as the glass in front of the screen, to be needed.
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macrumors newbie
Oct 3, 2016
This must be limited to the must have first crowd. The larger customer base are keeping devices two, three and even four years. If it isn’t durable over a multi year timeframe, then I will only be seen as an expensive gimmick


macrumors 6502
May 14, 2010
A foldable iPad makes far more sense than a phone. Carrying around a device that can fit in your jacket pocket or small bag and open up to be a full size, useable iPad would be decent. The technology can advance hugely in the next 2 years, and mistakes from Samsung in the Fold will allow Apple and others not to repeat them.
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