I don’t think Apple will launch a foldable iPhone or a foldable iPad

Apple will likely launch an iPad with a folding screen in 2024, analyst firm CCS Insight said, reports CNBC. The Sellers Research Group (that’s me) is skeptical. I don’t think we’ll see a foldable iPad or a foldable iPhone.

CCS Insight published its annual predictions report on Tuesday in which the group’ analysts make forecasts about future products and trends.

In the latest report, CCS Insight predicted Apple would launch a foldable iPad in two years’ time rather than start with a foldable iPhone.

This is contrary to other smartphone makers like Samsung which have launched foldable smartphones rather than tablets.

“Right now it doesn’t make sense for Apple to make a foldable iPhone. We think they will shun that trend and probably dip a toe in the water with a foldable iPad,” Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight, told CNBC. “A folding iPhone will be super high risk for Apple. Firstly, it would have to be incredibly expensive in order to not cannibalize the existing iPhones.”

I agree with Woods’ sentiments. However, I think they also apply to the iPad line. That said, Apple has filed for, or been issued, several patents for foldable smartphones and tablets. 

For example, one patent granted in 2019 was 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. 

In the patent filing, Apple notes that, traditionally, electronic devices have a single form factor that may be driven by the size and shape of the display. Because many traditional displays are rigid or at least not flexible, a traditional device that is adaptable to accommodate multiple form factors includes the use of a mechanical hinge or pivot joint. 

Apple says, that however, these traditional configurations used for traditional notebook and tablet devices are” inherently limited by the integration and size required by a separate mechanical hinge.” The tech giant is looking into a flexible display that doesn’t have the limitations or drawbacks associated with some traditional solutions. 

Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product. (BTW, the accompanying mock-up of a foldable iPad is courtesy of in.mashable.com.)

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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.