By Matt McCallSep 10, 2020
It’s that time of year again.
Kids are back in school (some virtually, some in-person), football is starting up (tonight!), and white pants are being packed away until Memorial Day. Even the leaves are already beginning to change color in some places.
But in this digital world, that’s not all the turn of the calendar to September brings…
It also marks Apple’s (AAPL) always-anticipated new launch event.
This event has become a tradition that shapes much of the tech industry. Apple unveils what it’s been working on over the last year… and gives a preview of what’s to come in the future.
It’s a big deal. Steve Jobs cemented the company’s reputation as an innovator, and it also happens to be the biggest business in the market, valued at more than $2 trillion! So when Apple announces new products and upgrades, smart investors need to pay attention. In true 2020 fashion, this year will be a bit different… but it could also mark one of the most important events since the iPhone was announced in 2007.
The first change is that this year’s event will be held virtually. No surprise there, as there are still strict COVID-19 precautions in place throughout the country.
And second, even though “Apple” has come to be synonymous with “iPhone,” the company is not expected to unveil the new iPhone 12 just yet. Supply issues as a result of the pandemic have pushed back production, and most analysts expect Apple will host a second event later this month or in October to announce the upgraded product.
As always, rumors are everywhere about what consumers should expect from the new iPhone.
The biggest difference is that it will likely be the first iPhone to include 5G capabilities. We talked about the massive opportunities that the 5G rollout will bring yesterday, and I look at a 5G iPhone as the unofficial kick-off of this trend. That’s huge, as 5G will transform our world.
A lot of people are focused on 5G, which I get. But they’re overlooking another important upgrade in that the iPhone is expected to include an OLED (organic light-emitting diode) display. What’s so exciting about that?
Well, OLED screens can be flexible…
We are at the beginning of the next big thing in smartphones that will impact communication through the rest of this Roaring 2020s decade. While 5G will massively transform the way we communicate, the physical future of mobile technology will be foldable.
Not like the old flip phones that opened and closed on a hinge – with a screen on one side and buttons on the other. I’m talking about an honest to goodness smartphone that can fold into pretty much whatever device you need.
I know it sounds crazy. How can a phone fold out into a tablet and then back down into a small wristwatch? I had the same questions. But I’ve seen early prototypes of this technology, and it’s very real… and very, very cool.
Take a look at Microsoft’s (MSFT) new Surface Duo, for example. It’s like a small notebook that opens on a 365-degree hinge to two screens – which you can use separately or as one large display.
Yes, this first iteration still has a hinge. But it’s another major step toward the kind of foldable devices that are just around the corner.
Now before you get too excited, the iPhone 12 is not expected to be foldable. Not yet anyway. But the inclusion of an OLED display means that we’re getting close. And we know that Apple has been researching foldable screens for future upgrades.
My guess is that Apple will join the foldable party next year. If the next-generation smartphone revolution isn’t fully underway by that time, Apple would almost certainly kick it into gear – just like it did with the first iPhone 13 years ago.
That was a major disruption then, and another one is coming. And with it come important investing implications and opportunities.
Some of the biggest technology companies in the world are investing large sums into foldable devices.
Alphabet (GOOGL) has invested at least $1 billion
LG Display (LPL) is up to more than $8.5 billion.
And Chinese company Huawei has invested over $15 billion.
With the industry giants committed to the foldable phone trend – including Apple, Samsung, and Motorola (MSI) – the opportunity is huge.
And we’re still early. Right now, less than one half of one percent (0.05%) of the world’s population uses foldable phones. But all that is about to change.
As this trend unfolds – pun intended – over the next few years, we will ultimately see 3.2 billion smartphones being replaced by foldables. My research shows this industry is set to surge, transforming into a massive $13.8 billion market in just a few years. That’s growth of 5,500%!
There’s no question that investors who get in front of this massive tidal wave will reap the biggest rewards.
It’s like having the chance to invest in Intel (INTC) or IBM (IBM) at the dawn of the PC revolution. Or Amazon (AMZN), Google, or Microsoft in the early stages of the internet. Even Apple at the start of the smartphone revolution.
Those companies are huge now, so to make the big money the better strategy is to invest in the “picks and shovels” companies – the suppliers that make the “guts” of these next-generation phones.
The biggest change is a bendable screen. Without that technology, foldable phones are impossible. That’s why I see huge opportunities in smaller companies making the foldable displays.
Start your research there. And if you want some help, I’ve created a portfolio of four such stocks in my Investment Opportunities newsletter. It’s off to a strong start, and it’s not too late to get in. You can click here to learn more.
But don’t wait. This is the biggest smartphone breakthrough in a decade, and the biggest gains go to those who get in early.
P.S. Ten years from now, we’ll look back on the current displays the way we view old tube TVs today. And one company I’ve found will help make that possible – thanks to its deals with the likes of Apple, Samsung, and LG. It’s one of my four picks in the Foldable Phones Portfolio at Investment Opportunities.
Click here to listen to Matt McCall’s MoneyLine podcast! This week, Matt talks about the cloud computing trend. It’s not a new idea, as the cloud powers the technological innovations that have been leading the market. However, now that the big tech stocks have pulled back, is cloud computing still a good investment? Matt gives you his thoughts on this and much more.
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