There are a few rumors about Apple developing foldable devices. The most consistent regards a foldable iPad. According to a paywalled DigiTimes report (via MacRumors), Apple is in “intensive development” of this device, and the company could unveil it as soon as the end of 2024 or early 2025.
The publication says that Apple hasn’t finalized the design of this foldable iPad, as the company aims to “achieve a more cost-effective design, motivating contentious changes to the device.” In addition, Cupertino is worried about the device’s panel and hinges, as the display could crease.
Interestingly, this report comes a few months after DigiTimes said Apple was “considering foldable tablets.” Unfortunately, the publication doesn’t give possible specs of this foldable iPad and how it would compare to the current iPad lineup.
Previously, The Elec, DSCC, Bloomberg, and Omdia said Apple was working on a hybrid foldable iPad/MacBook with a 20-inch display. The latter stated that this device could be released by 2026.
In 2022, DSCC Ross Young shared that suppliers were in talks 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 serve as 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 said the device could offer up to 4K resolution or higher.
Then, in his Power On newsletter, Mark Gurman corroborated Young’s reports. He said Apple may 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, as the company was exploring a dual-screen setup.
At the moment, it’s unclear if this iPad/MacBook hybrid could be the foldable iPad DigiTimes is now reporting. Still, it’s interesting that this device could launch that soon – mainly because we’re waiting for a revamped OLED iPad Pro in early 2024. Also, studies show that the tablet market is going downhill.
BGR will keep reporting on Apple’s effort to release foldable devices, which includes iPad, Mac, and iPhone models.