The Sellers Research Group (that’s me) is a little dubious about this one, but in a series of tweets, the usually-accurate analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says Apple will release a foldable iPad with a carbon fiber kickstand next year.
He says a carbon fiber kickstand will enable it to be lighter and more durable. Kuo thinks a foldable iPad will boost shipments and improve the product mix. That’s next year. This year’s outlook isn’t so good. Kuo is predicting a year-over-year 10-15% decline in sales. He’s also doesn’t think we’ll see an iPad mini refresh until the first quarter of 2024.
Even though I’m somewhat skeptical, there are have numerous reports and patent filings by Apple to hint at foldable iPads, as well as foldable iPhones. An April 2022 article by The Elec claimed that Apple is working with LG to develop a foldable OLED display panel with “ultra-thin” cover glass for future iPads and Mac laptops.
Also, Apple has filed for, and/or been granted, several patents for foldable devices over the years. One is for a “foldable cover and display for an electronic device” configured to be moved between a folded configuration and an unfolded configuration by bending the cover layer along the foldable region. Others granted patents are for “folding devices with geared hinges.”
And in March 2020 Apple was been granted a patent (number 10,585,708) for a “system with multiple electronic devices” that suggest future iPads (and perhaps iPhones, but that seems less likely) could automatically “couple” with each other when they touch. The patent also hints at foldable devices.