When it comes to foldable devices, brands like Samsung, OnePlus, Oppo, and Motorola are focusing on the smartphone form factor. Apple, in classic fashion, is taking a different approach towards these types of devices and working on foldable tablets. That’s right. According to a new report from Digitimes, Apple is developing a foldable version of the iPad. What’s even more interesting is that the small-scale production of the foldable iPad is said to commence as soon as the end of 2024 or early 2025.
Sources say that Apple has been working on foldable devices for four years now and the company is continuously making changes to the designs. However, the design of the foldable iPad hasn’t been finalised yet. Reportedly, the display panel and hinges are the key development areas for Apple, as they should be. So, no surprises there.
Apple could source foldable displays for iPad from Samsung
As we reported earlier, the Apple is already in talks with Samsung Display and LG Display to source foldable screens. The iPhone maker seems to be concerned about the crease in the panel but considering the progress in the foldable screen space, Apple might be able to offer a foldable display on the iPad that’s free from crease.
As for the hinge, Apple’s main objective is reportedly to simplify the design and reduce the number of parts in it. Fositek, a company that manufactures hinges for foldable devices, recently revealed that the hinge it makes for notebooks has a staggering 885 parts, which is something that doesn’t go with how Apple likes things to be. Sources say that the hinge that Apple has designed fulfils all the performance requirements but the company is still making changes to make it cost-effective and easier to manufacture.
Here's why Apple is working on foldable iPad rather than foldable iPhone
According to DigiTimes, Apple is entering the foldable device market with a tablet rather than a phone because of two reasons. The first one is that the iPadOS is more suitable for a foldable device. The second reason is that the market for tablets is much smaller than that for phones. So, if anything goes wrong with Apple’s first foldable device, it won’t make a huge impact on the brand, and Apple could control the damage more easily.
Apple is currently the leader in the tablet market. However, the company’s tablet shipments have declined by 16.8%, year-on-year (YoY), and that’s because the tablet market as a whole is shrinking, with a 29.9% YoY decline. The foldable iPad could turn things around for iPads, and for the tablet market in general, giving the company and the whole tablet industry the much-needed push to stop the shrinkage of this market.
Foldable iPhone is also on the cards
Lastly, sources say that once Apple enters the foldable device market with the foldable iPad, the next step for the company would be to launch a foldable iPhone. That means the foldable iPhone won’t be coming before 2025 or 2026. That means Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip rivals from Apple are still a few years away.
However, Samsung shouldn't take this time for granted and work on making huge leaps with these devices because if there's one thing we know about Apple, it is that the company enters a new market with a bang, and want Samsung to be ready for the surprise.