Apple’s first foldable phone could go head-to-head with Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 8

A new report says Apple's first foldables could arrive much sooner than previously predicted

A still image of a primtive foldable iPhone design, taking a picture of a plant
(Image credit: 科技美学)

Apple's much-rumoured folding iPhone could arrive sooner than predicted – and that means it could end up going head-to-head with the Samsung Galaxy 8 Fold. But it won't be Apple's first foldable device. A new report says that that device will be a frighteningly expensive folding MacBook, which is currently pencilled in for production in late 2025.

The report didn't use the words "frighteningly expensive" but it did say that the first folding device would be at the very high end of Apple's product range, targeting the "ultra high-end market" with a 20.3-inch display. It's unclear whether this device will be a MacBook or an iPad Pro or a so far unnamed new device, but the production plans are much earlier than previously predicted: multiple reports had said that Apple's foldable wasn't coming until 2027.

The report says that the folding iPhone will be the next folding device from Apple, and it's currently pencilled in for production in late 2026.

Apple folding iPhone, iPad and Mac: what the leaks are saying

This latest story comes from industry analyst Jeff Pu, whose notes to investors are designed to keep them current with new and imminent technology releases. The latest note, which has been seen by MacRumors, says that the first, larger folding device will be comparatively low volume: the folding iPhone is expected to be the big seller here. The larger device won't sell as many units, but it will help set expectations for the iPhone.

Reports currently suggest that Apple is considering two different display sizes for the folding iPhone, 7.9 inches and 8.3 inches. However, it may not commit to both, or may go for different sizes.

Whatever size the folding iPhone is, it's going to be facing some serious competition: by then Samsung should have launched the eighth generation of the Samsung Galaxy Fold. That competition may be why Apple seems to have accelerated its plans to deliver a folding iPhone: the Chinese market, which is a key market for many firms including Apple, is loving foldable phones. In February, research firm IDC said that sales of foldables in China had shown the fourth consecutive year of triple-digit annual growth since the first models were launched there.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (