It's been four years since Samsung released its first device featuring a foldable display, i.e., the Galaxy Fold. But nearly half a decade later, Samsung's biggest rival, Apple, has yet to join this cutting-edge market segment. Nevertheless, Apple may yet become a Samsung foldable display buyer.
A reemerging report claims that Samsung will eventually make Apple its foldable display client. However, there's a possibility that Apple's first device to feature this display technology won't be an iPhone.
According to Business Korea, citing unnamed industry sources, Apple is now in talks with foldable display suppliers in anticipation of releasing a foldable MacBook. Apple supposedly plans to unveil its first foldable laptop as early as 2025 and launch the product in 2026.
Knowing Apple, the estimates might be overambitious
Apple is allegedly in talks with several foldable display manufacturers. Samsung Display is the most influential and would benefit the most from a new collaboration with the US-based tech giant. Apple releasing a foldable MacBook powered by Samsung Display would almost certainly boost the popularity of foldables, and in turn, Samsung's display arm would earn influence, revenue, and even more credibility.
Samsung Display reportedly decided to pour 4.1 trillion won ($3.1 billion) into large-screen foldable OLED panels with the goal of mass-producing them in 2025 and 2026. This move seemingly adds credibility to the idea that Apple will develop a MacBook equipped with a foldable display within the next few years.
However, when it comes to disruptive technologies, Apple takes its time and spends years in the prototyping and designing phases. Once again, the company has yet to create a foldable iPhone, so the rumors that it is developing a foldable laptop may seem too ambitious.
It took Apple almost a decade to create and unveil its first augmented-reality headset. And because the MacBook is a household name, Apple should be extra careful about deviating from the formula too much.
But assuming that the company will indeed decide that its first device equipped with a foldable display should be a revolutionary MacBook, and if Apple releases it within the next few years, its strategy will likely create a new booming market segment. And Samsung should win big from this Apple shift in design and display technologies.