Apple is still undecided on the launch of a foldable iPhone, suggests a new report from South Korean publication TheElec.
The Cupertino giant usually starts co-development with its partners at least two to three years before a product launch. It also designates vendors for materials and components once a design is locked in.
There are currently no indications that Apple is readying its supply chain for a 2023 launch, per the Korean outlet.
They would need to start making the necessary investments in early 2022 if Apple intends to launch the device in 2023.
Apple will consider profitability before launching a foldable iPhone
The Elec also claims that Samsung was able to sell only 2.5 million units of foldable smartphones in 2020, missing its target of shipping 4.5 million to 5 million units. Apple is likely closely monitoring the South Korean giant’s performance to gauge the market response.
Apple is currently transitioning from LCD panels to OLED units and this could affect its margins. By the second half of 2022, it’s forecasted to have more OLED iPhones than LCD iPhones in its portfolio. The report says that Apple requires time to evaluate its position before launching a foldable iPhone.
According to a person familiar with the matter, Apple also has mini-projects related to foldable displays but they add that the company is currently not too keen on launching a bendable device.
For now, a 2023 launch timeframe doesn’t seem likely, and if the company starts setting up a supply chain towards the end of this year, we will see a foldable iPhone in 2024 at the earliest.