Apple May Be Testing A Foldable Device Bigger Than An iPhone

Apple is reportedly testing a foldable that will reportedly pack a 9-inch OLED display and will likely be a version of the iPad instead of the iPhone Fold. The latest rumors come courtesy of TFI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who tweeted earlier today that the company was actively testing a 9-inch foldable OLED panel that could go towards the development of an iPad/iPhone hybrid.  But the exciting device won't be hitting the shelves anytime soon. Kuo had originally predicted that a foldable bearing the Apple logo will arrive by the year 2024, but he has now revised those expectations and currently pegs 2025 as the year Apple finally brings a foldable phone to the market. As for the device itself, it might not be the foldable iPhone excited fans have been clamoring for, and the panel size shared by Kuo only reasserts those suspicions. 

A 9-inch foldable screen just sounds too big for a phone; even if it's folded in half, the device would still be quite wide. Just take a look at the current crop of foldable phones in the market to make sense of Kuo's claims. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 offers a 7.6-inch foldable screen, while the OPPO Find N keeps things a tad more compact with an inner foldable panel that offers 7.1-inches of screen real estate.

A foldable iPhone doesn't appear to be a priority

The HUAWEI Mate X2 enters the tablet category with an 8-inch foldable display, while Xiaomi's Mix Fold comes equipped with an 8.01-inch 120Hz screen. Kuo further adds that Apple's foldable plans are targeting a medium-sized device first, followed by a large machine that could very well be a Mac, and finally, a small device aimed at the smartphone segment. If Kuo's claims are anything to go by, a new iPad model will be the first foldable to come out of Apple's design labs, not an iPhone.

Another report from The Elec claims that Apple is sourcing foldable OLED panels from LG destined for tablets, adding more substance to Kuo's predictions. The panels offered by LG will rely on the ultra-thin glass, a solution that has also made its way to Samsung and Oppo's foldable phones. But do keep in mind that Apple is only experimenting with foldable panels for technology verification, and might decide to put the project on ice if it doesn't meet the company's standards of quality and user experience.