The world’s biggest iPhone factory, located in China and run by Foxconn, faced disruptions in 2022. That is likely to filter through to Apple’s December quarter results. Meanwhile, analysts questioned demand for the iPhone 14 from Chinese consumers.
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Apple will slow the pace of iPad releases for the rest of 2023, with an eye towards releasing a foldable iPad by 2024, noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo wrote on Monday.
“I’m positive about the foldable iPad in 2024 and expect this new model will boost shipments and improve the product mix,” Kuo wrote on Twitter. Kuo’s prediction aligns with a report from analyst firm CCS Insight, which wrote in Oct. 2022 that the Cupertino company would launch a foldable iPad before a foldable iPhone.
Several other manufacturers, including Lenovo and Samsung, make laptops or phones with full-size foldable displays. Apple has so far shied away from taking advantage of OLED technology in the same way. Rival Samsung has released multiple foldable phones but Apple has maintained the rectangular shape of the iPhone since its launch.
“Right now it doesn’t make sense for Apple to make a foldable iPhone. We think they will shun that trend and probably dip a toe in the water with a foldable iPad,” Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight told CNBC in a 2022 interview.
In 2021, Kuo had predicted the release of a foldable iPhone in 2024, the same year he now predicts a foldable iPad to launch instead.
Kuo expects that a foldable iPad to feature a carbon fiber kickstand sourced from Chinese manufacturer Anjie Technology.
A representative for Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Kuo is one of the most prolific and respected Apple analysts. The analyst has predicted multiple details on the iPhone SE 3, the 2021 MacBook Pro, and on numerous iPad releases which have been substantiated at launch. Most recently, Kuo predicted a delayed launch for Apple’s highly-anticipated mixed reality headset.