Apple reportedly testing E Ink’s Electronic Paper Display (EPD) for foldable devices

This flexible touchscreen Mac laptop concept is courtesy of Astro HQ.

There have long been rumors that Apple plans “foldable” iPhones, iPads, even Macs. And a new tweet by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo indicates that Apple is at least considering such products.

Here’s the tweet: Apple is testing E Ink’s Electronic Paper Display (EPD) for future foldable device’s cover screen & tablet-like applications. The color EPD has the potential to become a mainstream solution for foldable devices’ must-have cover/second screen thanks to its excellent power-saving.

Electronic paper is used to make screens that mimic appearance of ordinary ink on paper.Unlike conventional flat panel displays that emit light, an electronic paper display reflects ambient light like paper.

E Ink is the inventor of several types of electrophoretic ink, often called electronic ink. When laminated to a plastic film, and then adhered to electronics, it creates an Electronic Paper Display (EPD).

An Apple report from The Elec said Apple is working with LG to develop a foldable OLED display panel with “ultra-thin” cover glass for future iPads and Mac laptops. There have been rumors of foldable iPhones and iPads. I’ve been dubious, but Apple has filed for, and/or been granted, several patents for foldable devices. 

And in a February 2021 Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) report — as noted by MacRumors — analyst Ross Young say Apple is considering a 20-inch foldable MacBook. He adds that it and a foldable iPhone won’t arrive until 2025 — if not later.

Young says a foldable laptop could form a new product category. If it arrives, it could be a dual-use product: able to work as a notebook with a full-size on-screen keyboard when folded and as a monitor when unfolded and used with an external keyboard. The foldable could also allow for 4K resolutions or higher at the size Apple is investigating, Young added.

As wild as the idea sounds, Apple has filed for multiple patents that hint at foldable Macs, iPhones, and iPads. Included among them are patent filing 10,579,105 and patent filing number 20190163233.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.