Apple could finally be working on foldable iPads, with its first one coming in 2024, according to noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Rather than an iPhone, the company is expected to feature an iPad-branded device for its first foray into the foldable fray.
“I’m positive about the foldable iPad in 2024 and expect this new model will boost shipments and improve the product mix,” Kuo tweeted on Monday. News of a foldable iPad coming in 2024 first come from the analyst firm CCS insight last October, as the firm predicted a foldable iPhone wouldn’t make sense for Apple.
Kuo also noted that the first foldable iPad would feature a carbon-fiber kickstand built in. Following that, the analyst predicts that more foldables would be equipped with a kickstand moving forward. As far as non-foldable iPads go, Kuo believes Apple could eschew a new iPad for the near term, with the exception of the iPad mini, as the company goes all in on the foldable iPad. Keeping in mind that the latest iPad Pro (2022) comes equipped with Apple’s latest M2 processors, that may not be a bad thing.
Apple has stayed away from foldables for the past three years as Android phone makers have worked out the kinks and settled on a pair of designs. The company’s adoption of the iPad as a base model foldable could be interpreted as an endorsement of the Galaxy Fold design, if on a mini-style device. It could also open the gate for a more powerful iPadOS if the company sees this foldable as an intersection between iPads and Macs, as some have claimed.
Still, most people do prefer large, inflexible devices. At the same time, foldables still have compromises that have kept many potential users away. Weaker cameras than most flagships, more fragile displays due to more moving parts, and prohibitive price points. As the relative failure of the iPhone 14 Plus shows, Apple entering a market is not simply the guarantee it once was. Perhaps that’s the wisdom in associating it with the smaller, more lucrative, more experimental iPad line.
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