Apple iPhone Fold
Apple is reportedly planning to unveil its first-ever foldable iPhone in 2026. Twitter / mysmartprice @mysmartprice

Jeff Pu, a renowned analyst from Haitong International Securities, has unveiled some bold predictions for Apple's future in the next two years. Pu said a new, slimmer iPhone 17 model could be in the offing. Moreover, he suggests that Apple will foray into the foldable phone market.

Citing increased activity in the supply chain, Pu suggests Apple has ramped up the development of foldable devices. 9to5Mac reported on Pu's insights regarding Apple's foldable plans.

The rumour mill has been churning out speculations about Apple's first-ever foldable smartphone, allegedly dubbed the iPhone Fold. Previous leaks suggested a 2023 release for this device, but those predictions haven't materialised.

Recent reports suggest Apple might hold off on a foldable iPhone, opting to experiment first with a foldable device in a different category, potentially a folding iPad or a MacBook-iPad hybrid. Despite a smaller customer base compared to smartphones, Apple enjoys a significantly stronger position in the global tablet market.

This makes it a strategic testing ground for new technologies with potentially lower risk. Lending credence to this strategy, Pu's investor note predicts a 20.3-inch foldable device in late 2025, potentially followed by an iPhone Fold or iPhone Flip by the end of 2026.

Apple foldable device
Apple is reportedly planning to launch a 20.3” foldable device in late 2025 and a foldable iPhone in late 2026. Twitter / Apple Hub @theapplehub

Regrettably, details about these devices are still scarce. Despite the lack of an official confirmation, Pu suggests the first foldable will be a new, premium tier for Apple, targeting the ultra-high-end market.

Targeting the ultra-high-end market, this first foldable device could boast MacBook Pro-level power and a foldable display, potentially exceeding £1994.23 ($2,500) and rivalling the £2791.91 ($3,500) Vision Pro price.

Analyst reports suggest Apple is considering two potential screen sizes for its foldable iPhone: 7.9 and 8.3 inches. 9to5Mac considers the 2025/2026 launch window ambitious, especially since details have been few and far between.

However, Apple likely has ongoing internal development, even if specifics have yet to be revealed. A foldable iPhone by late 2026 would come roughly seven years after the Samsung Galaxy Fold's September 2019 debut.

For now, these are just Pu's predictions. It will be interesting to see if other analysts offer similar timelines or differing perspectives in the coming months.

Apple Could Introduce iPhone 17 'Slim' Model

Pu, in a research note obtained by 9to5Mac, predicts Apple will discontinue the reportedly sluggish-selling "Plus" model in 2026 and introduce the iPhone 17 Slim as its replacement. While Apple is still mum on its plan to launch a Slim model, its specifications have surfaced online.

The Slim model is expected to sport a mammoth 6.6-inch display. On the other hand, the iPhone 17 could feature a 6.1-inch panel. The Plus model could come with the largest 6.7-inch screen.

Pu claims the standard iPhone 17 models will pack an A18 or A19 chipset paired with 8GB RAM. Along with the 6.3-inch iPhone 17 Pro, both these models are expected to be housed in a "more complex" aluminium frame.

The iPhone 17 Pro Max has a 6.9-inch display. The model will retain its predecessor's titanium build and feature a "narrowed Dynamic Island," which adopts a new "metalens" technology to power the proximity sensor. This could significantly reduce the size of the Face ID footprint.

Pu says the Pro models will draw their power from a competent A19 chipset. He also states that the iPhone 17 Pro and Pro Max will ship with 12GB RAM each, unlike the current models that come with 8GB RAM. This is a sign that Apple realises its on-device AI plans will require robust internals to thrive.