❤ Foldable iPhone and iPad: Here’s what the latest rumors say
Apple competitors like Samsung have been trying to push foldable smartphones and tablets for some time. And while this is a niche market, Apple is rumored to have been experimenting with this idea internally. We don’t yet know when, or if, the company will introduce a foldable iPhone or foldable iPad – but read on as we detail what we know so far.
Latest rumors on Apple’s foldable iPhone and iPad
Rumors suggest that the Cupertino-based company is internally developing prototypes of foldable iPhones and iPads, but those devices are far from seeing the light of day. Analysts Ming-Chi Kuo and Ross Young reported that Apple’s first foldable product is expected to be introduced in 2025 “at the earliest.” Details about these devices remain unclear at this point.
This comes as no surprise since Apple has been following a more conservative approach in recent years. Due to the large number of devices the company ships each year, Apple would likely face several supply issues with the launch of a foldable phone at this point, since this technology is still limited and more expensive.
But what would an Apple foldable device look like? People familiar with the matter have been saying that the company has different prototypes inside its campus. One of them looks more like an iPhone that folds – an idea similar to Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip. Another prototype looks more like an iPad that folds into a phone. Kuo said this year that he believes the foldable tablet will come first.
I’m positive about the foldable iPad in 2024 and expect this new model will boost shipments and improve the product mix. My latest survey indicates that the foldable iPad will feature a carbon fiber kickstand. Carbon fiber material will make the kickstand lighter and more durable.
Last year, Young claimed that Apple was in talks with its suppliers to order 20-inch displays for a foldable laptop. Of course, these are all for experimental prototypes and none of these are product designs that are about to see the light of day. Still, it’s interesting to see that although having a foldable device is not a priority for Apple, the company is not ruling out the idea for the future.
CCS Insight also predicted that Apple’s first foldable device will cost around $2,500, much more expensive than current iPhones. But at the same time, foldable devices from other companies are not cheap either. Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4 starts at $1,799. Google’s new Pixel Fold also comes with a price tag of $1,799.
Are foldable phones worth it?
Some people think foldable devices are nothing more than a gimmick, while others really see the potential in this technology.
Samsung has been doing a great job with its foldable phones, and these devices open up a lot of new possibilities. For some people, it’s all about making large phones fit into a pocket or purse. For others, it’s about new ways to interact with the phone when it’s folded. I had fun taking selfies with my Z Flip without having to hold it or put it on a stand.
At the same time, these devices still look more like prototypes than devices for end users. There’s still the crease where the display bends and they’re still quite fragile. These are things that Apple can change with its own foldable device.
Report rumored: Foldable iPhone pushed to 2025, Apple mulling 20-inch foldable MacBook display
As part of its broader report focused on the growth of foldable smartphone shipments for companies like Samsung, Display Supply Chain Consultants has new details on Apple’s work on a foldable iPhone.
According to DSCC analyst Ross Young, Apple has likely delayed its foldable iPhone until 2025, but it is also investigating the idea of “foldable notebooks.”
First off, based on conversations with supply chain sources, Young says that DSCC has delayed its expectations for a foldable iPhone to 2025. This represents a delay of around two years compared to previously-reported timelines of a foldable iPhone launching in 2023.
We delayed our expectations for Apple entering the foldable smartphone market by two years to 2025 after discussions with our supply chain contacts. The company does not appear to be in a hurry to enter the foldable smartphone market, and it may even take longer than that.
Perhaps more interestingly, DSCC says that Apple is now investigating the idea of a foldable notebook of some sort. The company is reportedly in discussions with suppliers about this category, and while a product is still several years away, its interest is in a 20-inch foldable of some sort.
On the other hand, we are now showing Apple in our roadmap for foldable notebooks. We hear there is interest at the largest size yet, around 20.x”. This size could create a new category for Apple and would result in a true dual use product, a notebook with a full-size keyboard when folded and for use as a monitor when not folded and used with an external keyboard. It may also allow for UHD/4K resolution or even higher at that size. The time frame is likely later than 2025 though, it could be 2026 or 2027.
Even if this product is several years away, DSCC says that this is “good news for the foldable space” in general.
For those unfamiliar, Ross Young is an analyst for Display Supply Chain Consultants. As such, his reporting is usually based on indications from the supply chain similar to analysts such as Ming-Chi Kuo. He’s proven to be extremely reliable over the past year, including being the sole analyst to report that the 2021 MacBook Pros would feature mini-LED displays with ProMotion.
While Android counterparts like Samsung have entered the foldable smartphone industry with full force, Apple has been much more reserved thus far. Samsung has developed its foldable smartphone products in public, with its most recent being the Galaxy Z Flip3. As usual, Apple’s approach has been to develop a foldable iPhone secrecy and release a product only when it’s deemed ready for the public.
Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted in the past that Apple could sell 20 million units of the first foldable iPhone, whenever it eventually comes to market.
More interesting than the foldable iPhone delay, however, is Young’s claim that Apple is working on a 20-inch foldable MacBook product of some sort. Details here are a bit sparse, but it sounds like an incredibly intriguing product — regardless of whatever form factor it ultimately ships with.
Some find the idea of a foldable MacBook or iPad much more intriguing than a foldable smartphone.