Earlier, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo made a rather bold claim in which he stated that he believed that based on his sources, Apple could start selling its first ever foldable iPhone in 2023. Now according to Kuo, he seems to think that Apple’s first attempt at a foldable smartphone could actually be a success.
According to Kuo, he is estimating that Apple could ship as many as 20 million units in 2023. Given that the iPhone is usually launched in the later part of the year, this means that he thinks Apple could sell somewhere around that figure. Shipping numbers and sales figures are of course two different things, but companies usually try to avoid stocking excess inventory.
To give you some context, Apple’s regular iPhones typically sell 3-4 times that amount. In Q4 2020, it was estimated that Apple shipped 90 million units, so 20 million seems like a rather small figure by comparison. However, presumably the new form factor and potential hefty price tag could have made Kuo’s estimates rather conservative.
So why is 20 million considered a success? Based on the current figures of the sale of foldable phones in the market, 20 million is actually very impressive. This is because according to CounterPoint Research, they estimated that 2.8 million foldable smartphones were shipped in 2020 alone, so if Apple could indeed ship 20 million foldable iPhones themselves, that would be very impressive indeed.
Of course, there is the question of whether or not such a device will even launch in 2023 to begin with, so until then, this is pretty much all speculation.