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20-inch foldable iPad to launch in 2025, a year before a foldable iPhone

Published May 6th, 2024 6:50AM EDT
Apple iPad Pro
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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There aren’t many smartphone vendors out there who haven’t tried their hand at making a foldable smartphone by now. Apple is easily the most prominent of them. But if reports about Apple’s plans for foldable devices are accurate, Apple won’t launch a foldable iPhone anytime soon.

If anything, Apple could launch a foldable iPad/Mac device before the foldable iPhone comes along. Several rumors have hinted at this in the past few years. And now, there’s a brand new story claiming a similar roadmap for Apple’s plans for foldable devices. A 20.3-inch foldable iPad could launch in late 2025, followed by a foldable iPhone in late 2026.

The new claims come from Haitong International Securities analyst Jeff Pu, via 9to5Mac. While the analyst doesn’t provide many specifics about either foldable Apple product, he says Apple has “accelerated” work on the two devices. That is, there’s “increased visibility” of Apple’s foldable devices based on supply chain information.

Previous rumors about foldable Apple products also relied on supply chain information. Insiders like Ming-Chi Kup and Ross Young have both mentioned the same 20.3-inch display size for a foldable gadget that would offer iPad and Mac experiences. The latter detail isn’t confirmed, but I’ve long speculated about it.

Apple’s foldable tablet/laptop would have to make the best of both worlds. It has to feature a touchscreen display and offer a good software experience for productivity cases. I’m looking forward to seeing iPadOS get closer to macOS when it comes to multitasking. It’s only in such a case that I’d even consider replacing my Mac with an iPad for work.

Another option is for the user to switch between iPadOS and macOS on a foldable iPad, depending on what sort of experience they want. But that’s wishful thinking. If Pu’s claims are accurate, we’re more than a year away from such a device.

The analyst said Apple foldables would be a new product line for Apple, targeting the “ultra-high-end market.” That’s an indication that prices could be significantly higher for these devices. As for a foldable iPhone, Apple is looking at two sizes: 7.9-inch and 8.3-inch. That sounds like a Galaxy Z Fold foldable device or an iPad mini that becomes a foldable iPhone.

The foldable iPad would launch in late 2025 at the earliest, with the report saying that production should start in late 2025. The foldable iPhone will hit mass production in late 2026. Considering Apple’s launch schedule for iPhones and the fact that the iPhone will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2027, a foldable iPhone launch sometime in 2027 wouldn’t surprise me. But I’m just guessing here.

Whatever the case, Apple isn’t likely to confirm launch plans for foldable devices anytime soon. We’ll hear about the products only when Apple is ready. However, the usual Apple insiders will probably leak everything about the foldable iPad and iPhone until then, especially if reports are accurate and Apple’s supply chain is preparing for foldable devices.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.