With Apple’s launch of the iPhone 13 getting closer and closer, will this year be the year a foldable iPhone is available? Probably not.
One of the main smartphone trends in recent years has been foldable phones, but it seems highly unlikely that Apple plans the iPhone 13 to fold. However, that’s not to say that Apple isn’t working on a foldable iPhone, it just might be a longer wait than some of those who invested in the iOS ecosystem might expect.
Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 13 later in 2021, in line with its general smartphone launch schedule. Unsurprisingly, the iPhone 13 will come with a number of updates and improvements over previous models, and some of the most likely candidates will be an updated chip and camera-based advancements. Design-wise, the biggest change could be a smaller notch, leaving the chance for a folding chassis and display to arrive at a later time.
Like most companies, Apple tends to plan product design long before launch, so the base design of the iPhone 13 was probably decided some time ago. Although there have been some suggestions that Apple is already working on a foldable iPhone, most indications are that the design change will come with a later iPhone model. For example, an analyst recently suggested that the first foldable iPhone could arrive in 2023, as reported MacRumors. Again, the suggestion is that it is the earliest a foldable iPhone is likely to arrive, and it is still possible that it will end in 2024 or even later.
Apple is usually happy to wait
While it may not be what potential foldable iPhone buyers want to hear, the wait for an iPhone that folds is likely to take a bit longer. How much longer exactly remains unknown. What is known is that Apple tends to be in no rush to bring products to market just for the sake of it. This was recently seen with the launch of the iPhone 12, the first iPhone with 5G support. Although other companies were quick to launch 5G variants and even before 5G networks were easily accessible, Apple decided to wait. In the end, and in contrast to the option to buy an iPhone 5G variant, the company released the entire iPhone 12 series with 5G support.
Arguably, the fact that the current iPhone series comes with 5G support could also be one more indication that a foldable iPhone 13 is unlikely to arrive. Given that Apple just recently announced a major iPhone change and point of sale, the company may take this year and next as an opportunity to incorporate some less fundamental updates. Given that Apple tends to prefer to maximize the timing of major changes, the arrival of a foldable iPhone in 2023 could also hinge on what else Apple has up its smartphone sleeve for next year and the following year.
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