Apple has not yet entered the world of foldable devices, although Android phone manufacturers have been diving into this technology and exploring new form factors for years. However, that could change starting in 2024. A new report from CCS Insight, published Tuesday by CNBC, suggests the Cupertino-based company will launch a foldable iPad in two years, followed by a foldable iPhone in 2025.
That’s not really a surprise. Android phone makers launch multiple models in different series and price ranges each year, allowing them to tie foldable devices to a specific series like the Samsung Galaxy Z series while mainstream models continue to sit on the shelves. Apple cannot afford this luxury because the brand launches a maximum of four iPhones every year, all of which belong to the same series (five if you count the rare iPhone SE).
This strategy is different from what we’re used to – Android OEMs like Samsung and Huawei have always started with foldable smartphones, not foldable tablets. If the prediction is to be believed, Apple will take the opposite approach here, bringing the new technology to a potentially smaller iPad market before incorporating it into the iPhone lineup.
Ben Wood, research director at CCS Insight, said in an interview with CNBC, “Right now it doesn’t make sense for Apple to make a foldable iPhone. We think they will sidestep that trend and probably dip a toe in the water with a foldable iPad.” That makes perfect sense, considering that annual iPad sales are only a fraction of annual iPhone sales, even though it’s the most successful tablet in the world. For any tech giant that wants to experiment, the segments with smaller market shares are the best place to start.