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Foldable MacBook with crease-free screen and M5 chip reportedly coming in 2026

Published May 23rd, 2024 10:46AM EDT
14-Inch M3 Max MacBook Pro Display
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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Top insider Ming-Chi Kuo predicts a foldable MacBook might launch in 2026 as Apple ramps up this project’s development. While this device was previously rumored to be announced in 2027, it seems Cupertino is going all-in with foldable products. More specifically, Apple targets mass production for the panel and assembly in 4Q25 and 1H26.

According to the analyst, LG Display will manufacture the exclusive 20.25-inch panel. In addition, Apple is considering a smaller model with an 18.8-inch display. Kuo says that this device, in its folded form factor, would correspond to the design of 14-15″ and 13-14″ laptops, respectively.

To differentiate from competitors, Apple is working on a panel as crease-free as possible. With that, the analyst believes the cost of this display and hinge could be very high. “Current preliminary estimates put the panel and hinge costs at around $600–650 and $200–250, respectively. If production yields improve significantly by the time of mass production, these costs could decrease,” notes Kuo.

The analyst reiterates that this device will likely be expensive but unlikely Apple Vision Pro, which didn’t sell as much as Apple predicted; he believes this foldable MacBook could be a success, with shipments estimated to exceed one million units in 2026.

Kuo says Apple might be planning the M5 chip for this foldable MacBook. Current reports expect Apple to focus on the M4 family until mid/late 2025 when an M4 Ultra processor will be released for a Mac Studio and Mac Pro. With that in mind, this foldable MacBook leak makes sense, as Apple would be in the middle of the M5 family cycle by early/mid-2026.

However, little is known about the M5 processor as Apple only unveiled the base-model M4 chip, and no M3 Ultra processor is expected. Still, we expect this chip to focus heavily on AI applications.

BGR will continue to follow the latest details on this foldable MacBook and other foldable devices, such as iPhones. BGR’s Chris Smith notes that the Galaxy Z Fold 6 might pave the way for a breakthrough foldable iPhone, while we have also covered an auto-healing display patent that could be used on a future device.

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.