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TFI’s Ming-Chi Kuo, one of Apple’s best-known analysts (NASDAQ: AAPL), believes the Cupertino tech giant will launch a foldable iPhone with an 8-inch flexible QHD + OLED display in 2023.
Based on Apple’s requested capacity plan, Apple could expect to ship 15 million to 20 million new devices in 2023, Kuo said. The analyst adds that SDC is likely to be the exclusive supplier of the displays, while Samsung Foundry is the exclusive supplier of DDI.
“We expect the foldable iPhone to use the TPK silver nanowire sensor solution as it has several advantages over the SDC Y-Octa technology. We believe TPK earnings per share from iPad, Surface and automotive products in 2021 and 2022 will grow and will continue to grow year after year. Its business momentum will grow from 2023 thanks to the use of silver nanowires in a foldable iPhone, ”the analyst wrote in a note sent to clients.
According to the latest TFI survey results, Apple is likely to enter the fast-growing foldable smartphone market, which has become a “must-have for all major smartphone brands.”
“If component shortages can be reduced in 2H21, we estimate that shipments of foldable smartphones will be around 200,000, 3.2 million, 7.5 million and 17 million units in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022, respectively. In the foldable smartphone market, Samsung has more than 90% market share and proactive market advancement is critical to the rapid growth in the foldable smartphone market, ”adds the analyst.
Apart from AAPL, Kuo expects Asian smartphone brands – Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi and Honor – to release their own foldable phones later this year or early 2022. Major smartphone makers are already working on new models as the foldable smartphone is the most popular. the next innovative selling point for high-end models after 5G.
“Currently, foldable smartphones are being positioned as a product that combines a smartphone and a tablet. But we think the foldable smartphone is just one of the foldable applications. We predict that foldable devices will blur product segments between smartphones, tablets and laptops in the future. With its cross-product ecosystem and hardware design benefits, Apple will be the biggest winner in the emerging foldable trend. ”
Apple is likely to benefit from a partnership with TPK, which has been developing silver nanowire sensor technologies for over a decade and has nearly 200 patents, Kuo said.
“Apple’s adoption of silver nanowire sensor technology could reduce its reliance on SDC and enable a second supplier of displays, thereby lowering risk and supply costs. Silver Nanowire is already a HomePod touchscreen solution. While HomePod can use cheaper sensor technology, Apple is using silver nanowires to master this technology cost effectively through low production volumes, ”the analyst concludes.