In analysis cited by investment research firm EqualOcean, spotted by iPhone in Canada, Omdia predicts that Apple will launch its long-rumored foldable iPhone in 2023. The device is said to have a display size in the range of 7.3 to 7.6-inches and feature an OLED panel.
Omdia, a global communications and digital media research organization, predicts that Apple may launch a 7.3-7.6-inch foldable OLED smartphone in 2023 and add an activity pen to its foldable iPhone.
While the machine learning translation of the original report predicts support for an “activity pen,” it seems likely that this is actually referring to the Apple Pencil, or at least a variant of the existing iPad accessory of the same name.
Apple Pencil support has been rumored for the iPhone intermittently for some years, but the feature has never materialized. In spite of this, there is a clearer motive behind bringing Apple Pencil support to a larger foldable iPhone. With a display as large as 7.6-inches, the foldable iPhone would be almost as large as the iPad mini, which has a 7.9-inch display. The iPad mini has supported the Apple Pencil since 2019, so it would make sense for a foldable iPhone with roughly the same display size to support it too.
The Apple Pencil excels in illustration, handwriting, and productivity tasks that demand fine control, so Apple may have determined that its main utilities could not be significantly taken advantage of on smaller iPhones in recent years. With a display said to be almost as large as the iPad mini, there is a much clearer use-case for the Apple Pencil on a 7-inch foldable iPhone.
The report mirrors previous speculation when it comes to the OLED display panel. Apple’s rumored foldable iPhone has been said to feature an OLED display, namely from Samsung, according to reports of internal durability testing and display sample orders.
In January, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman said that Apple was testing foldable iPhones with a range of display sizes. A recent report from Taiwanese website Economic Daily News claimed that two prototype foldable iPhones had passed internal tests, and said that the device could launch in late 2022 or 2023.
Rumors about Apple working on a foldable iPhone date back to 2016, and the company has filed a significant number of patents related to a foldable iPhone. There has been an increasing number of reports surrounding the device in recent months, with more details emerging and even a timeframe for launch gradually taking shape.