Apple could reportedly debut foldable iPad in 2024

Apple could reportedly debut foldable iPad in 2024

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Apple Inc. is developing a foldable version of the iPad and an upgraded iPad Mini, according to respected mobile industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Kuo stated in a series of tweets this morning that Apple’s foldable tablet could make its debut as early as 2024. The new iPad Mini, in turn, is expected to launch the same year.

Few details are available about the rumored devices. However, Kuo did detail that Apple’s foldable iPad will feature a carbon fiber kickstand produced by Anjie Technology. It’s unclear whether Apple will build the kickstand directly into the tablet or intends to ship it as a standalone accessory.

Rumors that Apple may be working on a foldable version of the iPad first emerged last year. At the time, it was reported the device could feature a 20-inch display and share some features with Apple’s MacBook laptop series. It’s believed one half of the foldable display may function as a virtual keyboard. 

Apple rival Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. introduced its two newest foldable devices last August. The first device, the Galaxy Z Fold 4, is a 7.6-inch tablet that can fold like a book to turn into a 6.2-inch smartphone. It’s available alongside the Galaxy Z Flip 4, a 6.7-inch handset that features a flip phone-inspired design.

Samsung makes both devices’ foldable displays from an internally-developed material dubbed Ultra Thin Glass. According to the company, the material is 45% stronger than its previous-generation technology. Samsung claims devices featuring Ultra Thin Glass displays can be folded up to 200,000 times without experiencing a malfunction. 

Samsung manufactures displays for not only its own devices but also competing handsets. Apple is believed to be one of the company’s largest customers. According to 9to5Mac, it’s estimated that Apple has ordered 80 million displays from Samsung for use in its latest iPhone 14 lineup.

Apple’s rumored foldable iPad may also use Samsung display technology. Alternatively, the iPhone maker could seek to develop a custom screen for the device. Earlier this month, rumors emerged that Apple is working to create custom screen designs for some of its devices and has already manufactured multiple prototypes.

The launch of the foldable iPad is expected to be preceded by an update to the iPad Mini, Apple’s entry-level tablet. It’s believed the latter device will enter mass production in early 2024. A report from last month suggests that the main selling point of the next iPad Mini will be a new system-on-chip.

The current version of the entry-level tablet made its original debut in 2021 and features the same A15 Bionic chip as that year’s iPhones. If the next iPad Mini launches in 2024, it may share a processor with the 2024 iPhone lineup. Alternatively, the device may feature a processor from the M chip series that powers Apple’s higher-end iPads and Mac computers. 

Image: Apple

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