Rumours about Apple’s quest for a foldable iPad have been flying thick and fast.
Amidst forecasts of decline in shipments of tablets, supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s recent tweet has created enthusiasm among Apple fans. In his latest tweet on Apple, he says that the American tech giant will launch a foldable iPad with a carbon fibre kickstand in 2024.
He further expects that a revamped iPad Mini will also enter mass production in early 2024. Rumours about Apple’s quest for a foldable iPhone are there in the air for years now, and the company is also experimenting with other foldable options, including an iPad with a larger-screen.
“I’m positive about the foldable iPad in 2024 and expect this new model will boost shipments and improve the product mix,” Kuo tweeted. He said he was taking a “cautious approach” to iPad shipments for 2023, predicting a year-on-year decline of around 10-15%.
Apple testing a foldable iPad display
Analysts at CCS Insight also claimed in an October 2022 report that Apple was planning to use a foldable iPad in 2024 as a practice run for foldable technology before adopting it on the iPhone.
According to display analyst Ross Young, Apple is testing a foldable iPad display with a size of roughly 20-inches. The foldable device could feature a 4K or higher resolution. But he is not expecting the device in the market earlier than 2026-27.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has also said that Apple has been exploring a dual-screen foldable, and added that the bottom half of the display would serve as a virtual keyboard when the device is used as a MacBook-style clamshell.
As per earlier speculations, Apple is working with LG Display on foldable OLED display panels for future iPads and MacBooks. This may use an ultra-thin cover glass instead of polyimide, the material used by most of the foldable displays.
In association with Chinese company E Ink
According to Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is testing electronic paper display (EPD) technology that could be used in future foldable devices, in association with Chinese company E Ink. This would be much more energy efficient than other forms of display technology.
While other manufacturers, like Lenovo and Samsung, make laptops or phones with full-size foldable displays, Apple maintained the rectangular shape of the iPhone since its launch. They also stayed away from taking advantage of OLED technology so far.