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Apple Insider Reveals Timeline for Folding iPhone Release

TLDR: Apple insider predicts folding iPhone mass production to begin in late 2026, following a hybrid MacBook/iPad device with a 20-inch folding screen in late 2025.

Industry Analyst Predicts Mass Production in Late 2026

As Samsung gears up to unveil the Galaxy Z Fold 6, many have wondered when Apple will enter the folding smartphone market. Jeff Pu, an industry insider from Haitong International Securities, has now provided a potential release date.

Pu cites “increased visibility” in the supply chain that would provide Apple with the necessary folding technology. This would allow for mass production of a folding iPhone to begin in late 2026.

Larger Folding Device to Precede iPhone

Before the folding iPhone, Pu expects Apple to introduce a larger folding device – a hybrid MacBook and iPad. This device would feature a 20-inch screen that functions as a standalone tablet and can be folded into a laptop-like device similar to a 13-inch laptop.

Apple is currently working on bringing iPadOS and macOS closer together, allowing the software to run seamlessly on either platform without increasing demands on developers. By late 2025, the two operating systems will have undergone two more iterations, potentially reaching a point where a combination tablet/laptop system can run smoothly in either mode.

Lessons Learned to Contribute to iPhone Development

The development process of the larger hardware, the software required for the transformative moment, and the feedback from developers and consumers would all contribute to the next iPhone. Pu suggests a late 2026 release date, which aligns with the iPhone 18 family.

Apple has traditionally been late to adopt new advances in mobile technology, allowing other laptop and Android smartphone manufacturers to lay the groundwork for folding displays. With Samsung’s Galaxy Fold launch in 2019, a folding iPhone in Pu’s timeline would arrive approximately seven years after the first major consumer device with this technology.

Better late than never.

Fast and Aggressive Timeline

The timeline provided by Pu should be considered fast and aggressive for both the tablet/laptop hybrid and the subsequent iPhone. However, the long lead times required for the resources to manufacture the volume of advanced screens that Apple would need before a launch could explain the early appearance of these predictions.

The future is folding.


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