Kuo predicts that Apple is readying a foldable iPhone that could arrive in 2023
iPhone 14 Pro may be the first flagship iPhone to have hole-punch design
Apple is expected to launch its iPhone SE 3 with 5G support in 2022
Foldable iPhone with a 7.5- to 8-inch display could debut in 2023
iPhone 13 Pro successor, that could be marketed as iPhone 14 Pro, will ditch the existing notch to feature a hole-punch display design, according to a research note published by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TF Securities. Kuo has also predicted that the iPhone 13 Pro models, while preserving the notch design, will come with a 120Hz ProMotion display — the one that has so far been featured on the iPad Pro models. Kuo's latest series of predictions also talks about the iPhone SE 5G model planned for 2022, no favour for a USB Type-C iPhone model in the near future, and a foldable iPhone speculated for 2023.
The note, as reported by AppleInsider, speculates that the iPhone 13 Pro successor will be Apple's main iPhone release to abandon the notch and “adopt” the hole-punch display design. This could be similar to what has already been a part of many Android smartphones, including the latest Samsung Galaxy flagships.
Apple may expand the hole-punch display design across all its iPhone models after an initial adoption on the iPhone 13 Pro replacement aka iPhone 14 Pro in 2022 — depending on production yield.
In addition to the hole-punch design, the iPhone 14 models are also expected to have an upgraded selfie camera at the front, with autofocus support.
Kuo also reportedly foresees that Apple is planning to bring iPhone SE 3 or iPhone SE (2022) model with 5G support. This new addition is believed to boost 5G replacement demand. Further, the new iPhone SE is also expected to have an upgraded processor. A recently surfaced render also suggested a hole-punch display design on iPhone SE 3.
In a separate report, AppleInsider mentioned that Kuo's latest note also talks about Apple's plans to not bring USB Type-C iPhone models anytime in the near future. This is unlike the predictions about new iPhone models with a USB Type-C port that exist for quite some time.
“We believe that USB-C is detrimental to the MFi business's profitability, and its waterproof specification is lower than Lightning and MagSafe,” he said in the note, as quoted by AppleInsider.
Instead of going for a USB Type-C model, Kuo predicts that Apple may directly adopt the rumoured portless design with MagSafe support. It is, however, also noted that since the MagSafe ecosystem that Apple introduced for its iPhone lineup just last year is yet to be matured, the company is likely to continue to use the Lightning port on its iPhone models in the foreseeable future.
Kuo also predicted that Apple isn't expected to integrate a Touch ID sensor into the power button of its new iPhone models.
“We believe that the iPhone will significantly improve the user experience if it adopts the power button with the Touch ID sensor,” the analyst reportedly said. “However, currently, there is no visibility on the timing of adopting this new specification.”
The comeback of Touch ID has been anticipated especially in the current times when people are wearing masks that's making it difficult for them to instantly unlock the iPhone using Face ID. Some recent reports also suggested in-display Touch ID support on the next-generation iPhone models. However, Apple may take some time to decide whether it's feasible to go for a technology that's already available on many Android phones nowadays.
Interestingly, a USB Type-C design and a Touch ID-integrated power button both are already available on recent iPad models.
Kuo's note also reportedly mentions details about the iPhone 13 models, that are expected to be unveiled later this year and are also in the rumour mill as the iPhone 12s series. The analyst predicts that the iPhone 13 family — or simply the 2021 iPhone — would comprise four models just like the iPhone 12 models. There will be a thinner notch, and the Pro models are forecast to have 120Hz ProMotion display backed by an LPTO panel.
The Pro models are also said to have an upgraded six-piece ultra-wide camera with a wide f/1.8 aperture and autofocus support. This seems an update over the six-piece f/2.4 fixed-focus camera available on the iPhone 12.
Kuo reportedly mentioned in his note that the 2021 iPhone models might be slightly heavier, due to the potential of featuring larger battery capacity. The new series is also likely to come with a “space-saving design” that would include an integrated SIM card slot and a thinner selfie camera module.
The analyst also predicts that Apple may launch a 7.5 to 8-inch foldable iPhone sometime in 2023 by fixing production issues with the technology in 2021. Some patent images suggested the design of the foldable iPhone surfaced in the recent past.
Kuo is also predicted that Apple could unveil a new 6-inch iPhone in 2023 as an upgrade to the iPhone 11, with an LCD screen, Face ID, and a sub-$600 (roughly Rs. 44,000) price tag. The company is also believed to have a flagship iPhone in 2023 with an in-display fingerprint sensor, periscope telephoto camera, and a “real full-screen design” experience that may not include any holes or notches.
Jagmeet Singh writes about consumer technology for Gadgets 360, out of New Delhi. Jagmeet is a principal correspondent for Gadgets 360, and has frequently written about apps, computer security, Internet services, and telecom developments. Jagmeet is available on Twitter at @JagmeetS13 or Email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please send in your leads and tips.