Foldable iPad could arrive as soon as next year, Apple analyst says

Apple could be on track to launch a foldable iPad as early as next year, according to supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. “I’m optimistic about the foldable iPad in 2024 and expect this new model to boost shipments and improve the product lineup,” he said. tweeted early Monday. Kuo expects it to be joined by a revamped iPad Mini, which is expected to go into mass production in early 2024.

Kuo didn’t provide many new details about the foldable iPad, but said it would feature a “carbon fiber” kickstand produced by Chinese component maker Anjie Technology.

A release date of 2024 is significantly earlier than the last significant foldable iPad prediction, which came from Display Supply Chain Consultant analyst Ross Young last February. He said Apple was developing a foldable iPad/MacBook hybrid with a folding screen of around 20 inches, but expected it wouldn’t be ready for release until 2026. Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman later reported that Apple had explored a foldable dual screen, and added that the lower half of the display would act as a virtual keyboard when the device is used as a MacBook-style cover.

Gurman didn’t offer an exact release date prediction, but noted in October that Apple’s foldable iPad could be released “later in the decade.”

This isn’t the first time Kuo has put a date on a foldable forecast from Apple after announcing that a foldable iPhone could be released in 2023 two years ago. But it seems to be a much smaller device with a screen size of around 7.5-8 inches. Gurman even reported that Apple considered releasing a foldable device with a screen size similar to the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max. Given the lack of rumors of a foldable iPhone more recently, it’s hard to imagine it releasing in 2023, as Kuo previously predicted.

In the more immediate future, Kuo expects iPad shipments to drop 10-15% year-over-year in 2023. Given the surge in sales that most consumer tech companies have enjoyed during Covid shutdowns, and the declines many have suffered more recently, a drop in tablet shipments this year wouldn’t be nearly as surprising.

Finally, Kuo expects Apple’s next iPad to be the iPad Mini. It believes a new model will go into production in the first quarter of 2024, succeeding its last refresh in 2021.


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