According to Bloomberg, Apple is working on a new device that has a 20-inch foldable display, which is described as an “iPad / MacBook hybrid.” Famed Apple leaker and reporter Mark Gurman has backed up this claim.
This possibility was first brought up by Ross Young, the CEO and analyst at Display Supply Chain Consultants. He claimed last month that Apple plans to develop a device with a large, folding screen, and now we have some more teeth to this story.
Gurman claims the device will feature a dual-screen display that omits a physical keyboard and trackpad — navigating and typing on the device will be entirely touchscreen-based. For those anxious to get their hands on such a device – we have some bad news. The earliest release date for this device according to the current product roadmaps is only sometime in 2026. For context, this is the rumoured date for the Apple car to launch as well.
While it would be a completely new product category for the Cupertino firm, such devices already exist. The Lenovo X1 Fold launched in South Africa at the end of 2020, with a new version of the foldable PC expected sometime in 2022.
As is usually the case, Apple taking its time with a new product category (bar the first iPhone). No-one knows whether this device category will get any traction at all, so Apple might completely can the concept in years to come. However, with a new Apple product comes new hype, and it may be enough to drive the entire segment forward. This is what we saw with the iPad. Microsoft released a similar device almost a decade earlier, but it may have been too early. Of course, Apple basically own the tablet market these days.