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Apple’s first foldable details might’ve leaked, and it won’t be an iPhone

Published Feb 22nd, 2024 11:25AM EST
Apple's first foldable device
Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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What will be Apple’s first foldable device? Supply chain sources pointed out an iPad mini, the 2027 iPhone, and even an iPad/Mac hybrid. If the latest DigiTimes report is right, Apple’s first foray into foldable devices will indeed be a larger gadget, like a foldable iPad or MacBook.

According to its supply chain sources (via MacRumors), Apple has been developing its first foldable device for at least five years now – the same time Samsung has been actually releasing foldable smartphones.

DigiTimes corroborates previous reports that Apple’s foldable device is likely a “larger device,” such as a tablet or notebook. MacRumors echoes that the “design efforts on the device are now said to be converging ahead of plans for mass production.”

14-Inch M3 Max MacBook Pro DisplayImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

With Apple Vision Pro now available, Cupertino is reorganizing its engineers to focus on this future foldable device, as the company’s high standards for hinge and display need to be met before any possible announcement plans.

All sources seem to imply that Apple is working on a 20-inch foldable device, which could be a MacBook, iPad, or hybrid product.

In 2022, display analyst Ross Young shared that suppliers were talking with Apple to create a 20-inch foldable of some kind. The idea would be to bring together the usefulness of a notebook with a singular display like you might see on the iPad. Young even went so far as to say that the foldable MacBook hybrid could be a true dual-use product. It could act as a notebook with a full-size keyboard while also being viable as a standalone monitor when not folded or used with an external keyboard. Young also says the device could offer up to 4K resolution or higher.

Mark Gurman corroborated Young’s reports in one of his Power On newsletters. Gurman said Apple might very well go with a foldable 20-inch screen that uses a physical keyboard or a virtual keyboard on one side of the folding display. Gurman noted that he had been told that Apple is exploring a dual-screen setup. That could make the foldable MacBook hybrid more akin to Microsoft’s Surface Duo or Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold.

Still, it’s unclear when Apple could release this foldable device. Most reports point to 2027, so we’re still a few years away from the official announcement.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.