Top Apple analyst unloads his big predictions through 2024, including a folding iPhone

A shopper walks past an ad for Apple’s iPhone 12 outside a store in Hong Kong on May 24, 2021.

Budrul Chukrut | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images

Apple could release a new iPhone with a fingerprint scanner underneath the screen in 2023, and an iPhone with a foldable screen in 2024, TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a note on Monday.

While Apple’s latest iPhone hits store shelves Friday, investors and analysts are already looking ahead to see which years might bring big iPhone upgrades that drive growth and sales. Kuo is known for accurately predicting Apple hardware releases before they are official because he keeps such close tabs on the company’s supply chain.

In 2022, Apple’s high-end “pro” models could include a new design with a “punch-hole” display for the front-facing camera, instead of the notch on current devices. These phones could also be equipped with a 48-megapixel wide-lens camera, Kuo wrote. That would mean much sharper images.

Apple could also release new lower-cost iPhones next year, Kuo wrote, including a less expensive iPhone SE with 5G connectivity. The current model SE retails for $399. Apple is also working on a “more affordable” iPhone with a 6.7-inch screen, Kuo said. Apple’s current phone with that size screen, the iPhone 13 Pro Max, retails for $1,099 or more.

Kuo warned that all these predictions depend on Apple’s and its suppliers’ development process and that he had previously predicted some of these devices would release sooner.

“We predict that the new 2H23 iPhone will support under-display fingerprint,” Kuo wrote, using a term for the second half of 2023. “However, the foldable design may be the most critical selling point for high-end smartphones by then, so we still need to monitor the contribution of the under-display fingerprint to the shipment of the new 2H23 iPhone.”

Apple investors are curious whether this year’s iPhones can continue to grow sales despite new models with marginal improvements such as better battery life. The iPhone 12 has been a hot seller. IPhone revenue was up 50% year-over-year last quarter.

Ultimately, Kuo expects 16% year-over-year growth in terms of the number of iPhones shipped in 2022, which would be mostly iPhone 13 sales, and 5%-7% growth in 2023.

This year, preorders for the iPhone 13 reflect higher demand than last year’s preorders for iPhone 12 models, Kuo said. Apple’s new iPhones will hit store shelves Friday, and preorders opened last week for customers who want to receive their devices on the first day. The delivery estimates on Apple’s website for preordered iPhones are a useful tool to gauge consumer demand for the new devices, Kuo wrote.

Preorder demand is higher for the more expensive new models, the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, which start at $999 instead of $699 for the mainstream models, Kuo said.

Although Apple has warned about issues getting the parts that it needs to build its devices in the current quarter, Kuo believes that Apple has increased production for its high-end devices and that supply is better than last year because the company addressed a shortage of telephoto camera parts.