Apple slips to 4th in list of world's top smartphone makers

Apple slips to 4th in list of world's top smartphone makers

The report comes as Samsung and Huawei are gearing up to release their first foldable smartphones.

Unlike previous instances where Apple would brick an iPhone that used third-party parts, using a third-party battery or getting a third-party fix vendor to replace your iPhone's battery with one from another iPhone throws up a warning that the battery is not genuine.

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A team of analysts at UBS believe Apple could launch a foldable iOS device by 2021 based on an analysis of the iPhone maker's intellectual property filings. Apple announced that its iPhone revenue declined 11.8% in Q2 compared to a year earlier, largely due to increasing trade-in promotions in many markets.

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However, the fiddlers at iFixit found that even if someone replaced their iPhone battery with one from another iPhone, they'd be greeted by a message in the Battery Health that simply declares "Service", rather than reveal battery data such as how much the pack may have degraded and what it's maximum capacity is. Apple is supposedly working on the foldable technology for its devices and reports suggest that we might be able to see an Apple foldable device earliest by 2020. The images accompanying the patent show a tablet-like device that folds in half like a book.

"The survey indicates greater willingness to pay a premium (c. $600) and generally higher interest among Apple buyers for foldable products". 58% of smartphone users said an Apple foldable would not influence their purchase intention, according to the UBS Evidence Lab survey. Samsung's Galaxy Fold, for instance, reaches $2,000, so an iPhone that goes beyond this price point could be rather hard to sell. Regardless, the Cupertino company remains one of the most demanded mobile phones in the market and now analysts feel that a major change may be coming in the next two years.

The Galaxy Fold will cost around $2,000, while the Mate X will be even more expensive than that.