Apple might shift the Vision Pro team to a foldable iPhone project for 2026 launch

Apple might shift the Vision Pro team to a foldable iPhone project for 2026 launch
Since the start of 2024, rumors about Apple developing a foldable smartphone have appeared quite often. The latest speculation, coming from South Korea, further supports this notion and provides additional details about the tech giant's plans.

According to Alpha Economy (via Android Authority), Apple has reportedly made the final decision to release its first foldable iPhone in September 2026, potentially coinciding with the launch of the iPhone 18 series. Additionally, the source suggests that Apple has redirected its Vision Pro team to focus on developing the foldable phone, and the company anticipates selling approximately 50 million units of foldable phones worldwide.

If this rumor proves accurate, a foldable iPhone will be released after the 8th generation of Samsung Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip (expected to be its main rivals). The Galaxy Z series is typically launched towards the end of summer. For example, we anticipate the release of the Galaxy Z Fold 6 around August this year, likely at the next Samsung Unpacked event.

The outlet suggests that Apple anticipates selling 50 million units, which is a significant leap compared to the industry's recent trends. While the foldable smartphone market has been growing, the combined shipments of all foldables from various brands remain considerably lower. For instance, the market leader, Samsung, is reported to have shipped around 10 million units of its latest Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5 combined.

Moreover, the foldable iPhone would reportedly be developed by the same team responsible for the Vision Pro. An insider familiar with Apple's internal operations stated to Alpha Economy (machine translated):

After years of development, Apple recently launched its Vision Pro headset, suggesting that the company may now shift its focus to a foldable iPhone. Nevertheless, it is essential to approach this information with caution, as rumors of this nature often prove to be less than 100% accurate.

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For example, earlier leaks align with the possibility of seeing the first foldable iPhone in 2026. However, conflicting reports claim it might be delayed as Apple allegedly pauses work on the foldable iPhone. Additionally, rumors are circulating about a foldable iPad mini being the first to hit the market to celebrate the iPhone's 20th anniversary in 2027.

As is often the case with leaks and rumors, details can be conflicting, especially considering these events are still years away and subject to change. Stay tuned for further updates.
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