Apple owners would pay up to $600 more for a folding iPhone

Posted:
in iPhone edited August 7
In a recent survey of iPhone owners, interest is fairly high in a folding iPhone, and surveyed users will reportedly pay up to $600 more for it.




In a note to investors seen by AppleInsider, about 35% of consumers surveyed by UBS that already have an iPhone would be interested in purchasing a folding model. Price remains primary, though, with only about a $600 premium attached to the folding functionality by the polled users.

"Price remains the key hurdle in most consumers' minds, while the adequate average premium vs regular smartphones surveyed to be [about] US$400-500," Wrote UBS. "The survey indicates greater willingness to pay a premium (c. $600) and generally higher interest among Apple buyers for foldable products."

UBS predicted that a folding Apple device could arrive as soon as 2020 -- but it is not a new revelation. In March, Samsung was reportedly offering folding display samples to Apple.

Apple has been working on the intellectual property for a folding iPhone for some time, with efforts as early as 2015. Furthermore, in February, it patented a heating system to prevent cold weather damage from folding and unfolding a portable device.

The troubled, and soon to be re-released, Samsung Galaxy Fold retails for $1980. The phone it is most similar to, the Galaxy S10+, retails for $999, well more than the survey participants consider an acceptable price increase.

Samsung's seeded review units saw manifestations of creases hinge underneath the 7.3-inch OLED panel after repeated folding and unfolding. Some users noted corrupted graphics that in some cases rendered part, one half or the entire panel completely non-functional. And, a protective layer was misinterpreted as a temporary screen protector and was peeled off by several reviewers -- destroying the screen in the process.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    Apple, please take your time and make it right. I can wait. Folding phone will be great for reading manga, comic book and magazine.
    GeorgeBMacllamawatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 36
    irelandireland Posts: 17,659member
    No they won’t. Don’t want one. Reliability on smartphones isn’t perfect, and folding then will no doubts make that worse, and make the already very expensive devices even more so. The screen size isn’t a major problem. The number one issue with Apple’s phones is cost. Other prominent areas for improvement are battery life and especially photo quality: photos, optical zoom quality and low-light photo quality. $699 for a top-tier iPhone would be ideal.
    edited August 7 rob53macplusplusllamaMetriacanthosaurusrandominternetpersonpscooter63
  • Reply 3 of 36
    mobirdmobird Posts: 222member
    I don't think so. Talk about a NICHE market. And we ALL know here as many previous postings over the course of time have indicated, especially related to a lower cost prosumer modular Mac Pro that Apple doesn't do NICHE... You know, something about ROI, blah, blah, blah...
    rob53llamapscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 36
    I'm a Product Manager that deals with high tech products and all I can say is Nope, Nope, andddd Nope!  Don't waste your time on this .00025 use case.  Nobody wants to carry a thick phone that won't fit in their front or rear pocket.  How would this be mounted in the car when driving?  How to fit on a wireless charge stand (If you all haven't tried these you are missing out - so nice). I'm not going back to plugging my phone in several times per day... Too many "nopes" involved.
    macplusplusroundaboutnowllamanetroxpscooter63Rayz2016watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 36
    FolioFolio Posts: 600member
    The only appeal for me would be if it folds up into an airplane so it can moonlight for me as a delivery drone making $$$ while I sleep.
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 36
    Only if it is compatible with Origami.
    MplsPAlinschiopullamawatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 36
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,961member
    Phones that can fill in for tablets whenever needed.
    Tablets that can fill in for laptops whenever needed.

    That would be horrible!   Why would Apple do that to us?  /s
    llama
  • Reply 8 of 36
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,572member
    I don’t want one, but then again, I can’t think of why I’d need one. If new applications/uses arise from the ability to fold, maybe I would want one. For now it strikes me more as a cool, expensive gimmick that I’d be happy to play with in the store but not pay any money for. Not too unlike the Touch Bar.

    Here’s an idea - a folding tablet that would let you prop up the top half and fold the bottom half on a table to serve as a keyboard. The tactile feel of keys wouldn’t be the same but if you added haptic feedback it probably wouldn’t be horrible to type on. The butterfly keyboards have no travel anyway, so it would essentially be the same! 
    llama
  • Reply 9 of 36
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 898member
    5 in total so far.
  • Reply 10 of 36
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,074member
    I see a folding phone as being a gimmick. Lots of people can use their phone with one hand. Having to open a folded phone then hold it properly would more than likely require two hands. With FaceID, pull out you phone look at it and it's usable. I don't see this working with a folding phone.

    I'd much rather see Apple spend more R&D money on battery technology that extends its use both in time between charging and charging cycles. Look at what's going on in car EV and solar battery storage. More powerful batteries of various chemical compositions that also can extend their usage cycles into the multiple thousands. Instead of a folding iPhone, I'd rather see an iPhone that runs for 2-3 days and has a life cycle of at least 1000. This combination would mean an iPhone could live with heavy use for more than six years without power issues. 
    llamairelandwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 36
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,070member
    I'm a Product Manager that deals with high tech products and all I can say is Nope, Nope, andddd Nope!  Don't waste your time on this .00025 use case.  Nobody wants to carry a thick phone that won't fit in their front or rear pocket.  How would this be mounted in the car when driving?  How to fit on a wireless charge stand (If you all haven't tried these you are missing out - so nice). I'm not going back to plugging my phone in several times per day... Too many "nopes" involved.
    The Mate X is 11mm thick at its thickest point. 5.4mm at it thinnest but more importantly, this is a first generation product.

    11mm is not at all 'thick'. That's the starting point. They will get thinner.

    When you have 85% of your phone charged in 30 minutes, slow wireless charging becomes largely irrelevant. Very few people would see plugging a reversible connector in as a handicap. And almost nobody is going to plug their phone in several times a day.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 12 of 36
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,449member
    Once again the self-appointed guardians of the Apple blogosphere impose their will on the actual Apple customers buying the products. It’s short sighted not to see the advantages of a folding mobile device.
    GeorgeBMacmacgui
  • Reply 13 of 36
    Absolutely not. Who got surveyed?!?! I won’t even get off my iPhone 7 Plus yet and I had 3G, 4, 4S, 5 and 6 before it! Apple’s latest iPhones were ridiculously expensive and that showed in the sales. We can only hope things get better with the new models next month. 🙏
  • Reply 14 of 36
    M68000M68000 Posts: 87member
    35% of what?   what is the number of people surveyed?  Or is that not known?  They did not survey me, I would not pay another $600 on top of what it is now, that's almost the cost of a second decent phone.  If there are specific advantages to such a design then it needs to be proved - otherwise it remains a gimmick.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 36
    arlorarlor Posts: 502member
    For the record, I predict that if Apple ever does make a folding phone, the balance of commentary here will shift from "why would anybody ever want that?" to "Apple figured out how to do it right and I need one."
    avon b7GeorgeBMacllamamuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 36
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 688member
    I honestly do not see the appeal. An overly thick phone with a screen on the inside that has a ripple or crease in the middle. Said screen too small for use as a tablet, and artists would hate the transition ripple in the middle. The inside screen would be too big and the device uncomfortably heavy for a phone. It literally sounds like a device with the worst traits of all devices put together. And all that for a very premium price. I’ll pass.
    pscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 36
    bcodebcode Posts: 139member
    Not this Apple owner.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 36
    I wouldn't buy it if it were the same price because I don't want one, and have no interest in that style or form factor...like just about every other person in the world.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 36
    This is the second “what would you be willing to pay” survey articles. Is that a thing now? And asking someone to speculate on what they’re willing to pay without the context a real world consensus of what people are actually paying seems like it would result in, well, highly speculative results. 

    OTOH, I doubt Apples folding iDevice will be an additional $600.
    FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 36
    Never say never, right?

    The thing that's ridiculous about this new report is the inference/conclusion that the market is clamoring for a $1600 iPhone.

    I have little doubt that folding devices have a future, but so do 100s of other things I can't even imagine.  I expect Apple is doing R&D on this technology and when/if they can do it and meet their other requirements (for elegance, reliability, profitability, etc.) they will create such a product.  On the other hand, I don't see folding phone by other vendors to be a threat to Apple this year or next year.
    watto_cobra
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