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When Apple first introduced the iPhone, nobody knew it would be such a game-changer (pun intended). Nobody guessed that, 10 years later, nearly everyone would own one and the product category would be valued at over $1 trillion. In the same way that no one could foresee the iPhone, our current technologies are just the beginning of what’s to come. In fact, I believe that within 20 years, Apple will have released its foldable product which will likely be an iPhone/iPad hybrid and we’ll start seeing apps and features specifically designed to utilize it.
1. The foldable device will be a touchscreen
According to IDC, by 2025, smartphones will account for more than 75% of all mobile connections, so it makes sense that a foldable iPhone would need a touchscreen. In addition, Bloomberg says that with these flexible screens, you’ll be able to fold them in half twice: once horizontally and once vertically. This means your folded-up device would look like a square; it’s not going to fit in your pocket exactly as your current iPhone does. With that said, you could use it while walking around outside or standing in line at Starbucks without looking like an idiot (for example). It also means that when you unfold it, there won’t be any black bars on either side; everything will be full-screen. That’s impressive—and convenient!
2. It will use a universal charging cable
The iPhone charging cable is a great idea in principle, but it’s messy in practice. Not only do you have to find it when you need it, but then you have to insert it into your phone and align everything just right. The iPhone will become even more ubiquitous once users can share one charger for all their devices—and that’s exactly what I expect from Apple. By 2025, we might just be able to plug an iPad into an iPhone (or vice versa) and have them both charge automatically with one cable! #apple_design_smells_good…
3. The foldable device won’t replace an iPad
It’s more likely that a foldable device will act as a hybrid between an iPad and iPhone. For example, you could use it to read books, stream Netflix, and check email. The keyboard won’t disappear: Don’t expect a fully touch-based experience as we see on iPads. A large touchscreen display is expected, but don’t be surprised if there are also buttons along with it — including at least one for undoing mistakes or canceling out the text you didn’t mean to send. The folding process isn’t user-friendly: It’s difficult to predict exactly how users will fold up a product — but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s easy to figure out now that mobile devices have gotten so big!
4. The foldable device could resemble a Microsoft Surface
The foldable device is expected to be quite large, and if it resembles a Microsoft Surface, that’s what we expect. In fact, there’s a good chance that the Apple foldable product could actually double as an iPad and iPhone – with two separate displays that can be used independently or together to complete tasks. Let’s say you’re reading a book on one display; then, you can close it and put it away while watching TV on another display. It’s also important to note that even though Microsoft and Samsung are releasing their own products in 2017, these will be early models designed for niche markets (like gamers) who need more screen real estate.
5. The foldable device won’t have external buttons
According to Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple’s foldable device will have no external buttons. Instead, it’ll use touchscreens on both sides of a flexible display to control operations on your device. With an all-screen design, there’s no need for external buttons or hardware keys—and there won’t be room for them either, anyway. It won’t look like a book: Don’t expect an iPhone/iPad hybrid because the flexing mechanism will prevent the device from being folded in half more than 7-8 times.
6. The foldable device will come in three sizes
small, medium, and large. It will be more than 5 inches wide but less than 10 inches wide. Its cost could exceed $1,000 at launch but fall below $300 in a few years. There will also be a cheaper version that costs $200 and has limited capabilities, like being able to make calls or connect to Wi-Fi. The foldable iPhone’s battery life is expected to be roughly half that of today’s smartphones. That may sound bad, but smartphones from five years ago had terrible battery life — and many of them lasted for only half a day with heavy use on cellular networks.
7. The foldable device will run on the iOS operating system
There’s been a lot of talks that Apple might eventually shift to its own operating system. But even if it does. there are some advantages to having an iOS-based foldable device. because users can access more than 1 million apps designed for iPhones and iPads in Apple’s App Store. Plus, you won’t have to learn how to use a new operating system — or re-learn your way around when switching from touchscreen tablet mode to touchless smartphone mode. As much as anything else, convenience is king for consumers. And who knows, maybe someday we’ll all be using an even newer operating system in our foldable anyway?
As we discussed, there’s no doubt that Apple is working on a foldable product. There are a number of factors in place—including advancements in technology, for example—that make it seem likely that a foldable product will come out of Cupertino by 2025. While these factors are speculative and don’t point to an exact timeline. it’s safe to say that you should expect a new product from Apple within five years. Any luck will change your life for years to come.