From www.tomsguide.com

iPhone Flip Concept

(Image credit: EverythingApplePro)

The Haitong International Securities analyst Jeff Pu has made some startling predictions about Apple’s movements over the next two years, which include a new ‘Slim’ model of iPhone 17 and the company’s debut in the foldable space. 

 Apple’s first foldable devices 

The analyst Pu claims that Apple has “accelerated” its foldable work, with “increasing visibility” of the company’s foldable devices on supply chain checks. 9to5Mac covered what Pu had to say about Apple’s foldable plans.

It has previously been suggested that Apple won’t dive in with a foldable iPhone, and will instead test the waters in one of its lesser product categories, like a folding iPad or a MacBook/iPad hybrid. It’s a smaller pool of buyers, but the global tablet market is overwhelmingly dominated by Apple in a way that the smartphone market isn’t, which makes it a useful area to experiment in. 

The Pu investor note seems to back this up, with the prediction of a 20.3-inch foldable device arriving in late 2025, followed by an iPhone Fold or iPhone Flip in the tail-end of 2026.

There’s not much detail about either for the moment. Pu says that the first foldable will be a “new line-up for Apple” aimed squarely at the “ultra- high-end market,” which perhaps isn’t surprising given the cost of foldables and Apple’s premium products more generally. If it’s as powerful as a MacBook Pro with a foldable panel, it could easily clear the $2,500 mark and be honing in on Vision Pro’s $3,500 price tag. 

Two screen sizes are apparently being weighed up for the foldable iPhone: 7.9 inches and 8.3 inches.

9to5Mac refers to this 2025/2026 launch window as an “incredibly aggressive timeline” which is true from a standing start, but Apple will have been working on this behind the scenes for some time. If a folding iPhone arrives at the end of 2026, it will be around seven years after the Samsung Galaxy Fold arrived in September 2019. 

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Nonetheless for now, this is only Pu’s prediction, so it will be interesting to see if others corroborate or offer an alternate timeline in the weeks and months ahead.

A new iPhone 17 ‘Slim’ model 

In a research note seen by 9to5Mac, the analyst claims that Apple will do away with its reportedly underperforming ‘Plus’ model in 2026, replacing it with the iPhone 17 Slim. This will apparently pack a 6.6-inch display — significantly larger than the iPhone 17’s anticipated 6.1-inch panel, but smaller than the 6.7-inch one on the current iPhone 15 Plus.

Pu states that the two basic iPhone 17s will feature an A18 or A19 chipset, backed up by 8GB RAM. Both these and the smaller 6.3-inch iPhone 17 Pro will apparently feature a “more complex” aluminum design.

The 6.9-inch iPhone 17 Pro Max, meanwhile, will retain its titanium build, and come with a “narrowed Dynamic Island” which will be possible thanks to new “metalens” technology powering the proximity sensor, which could significantly reduce the size of the Face ID footprint.

Unsurprisingly, the analyst reckons that the Pro models will both contain the A19 chipset, but the memory prediction he’s made is more surprising. Pu states that the iPhone 17 Pro and Pro Max will back 12GB RAM each — quite a boost on the 8GB RAM in the current models, which may indicate Apple feels its ambitious on-device AI plans will need better internals to thrive in future. 

Pu states that all four iPhone 17 models will get a long awaited upgrade to their front-facing selfie cameras. The megapixel count will reportedly double from 12 to 24 (something which had previously been tipped by the analyst Ming-Chi Kuo). 

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you’ll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.

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The post Apple’s first-ever foldable just tipped to launch next year — and it’s a huge 20.3-inch hybrid first appeared on www.tomsguide.com

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