According to supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple could be on track to release a foldable iPad as early as next year. “I am positive about the foldable iPad in 2024 and expect this new model to drive shipments and improve product mix,” he said. tweeted early Monday. Kuo expects it to be joined by a refreshed iPad Mini, which will enter mass production in early 2024.
Kuo didn’t offer many new details about the rumored iPad being foldable, but said it will have a “carbon fiber” stand produced by Chinese component maker Anjie Technology.
A release date of 2024 is significantly earlier than the last significant foldable iPad prediction, which came out Display Supply Chain Consultant Analyst Ross Young last February. He reported that Apple is developing a foldable iPad/MacBook hybrid with a roughly 20-inch folding screen, but expected it to be ready for release in 2026. Bloombergby Mark Gurman later reported that Apple has been exploring a dual-screen foldable display, adding that the bottom half of the screen would serve as a virtual keyboard when the device is used as a MacBook-style clamshell.
Gurman didn’t offer an exact release date prediction, but noted in October that Apple’s foldable iPad could be released.later in the decade.”
This isn’t the first time Kuo has put a date on a foldable Apple prediction after saying two years ago that a foldable iPhone could appear in 2023. But it sounds like this is a much smaller device with a screen size of 7.5 to 8 inches. Gurman even reported that Apple has talked about releasing a foldable device with a similar screen size to the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max. Given the lack of rumors of a foldable iPhone more recently, it’s hard to imagine it coming out in 2023, as Kuo previously predicted.
In the more immediate future, Kuo predicts a decline in iPad shipments of between 10 and 15 percent year-over-year through 2023. Given the surge in sales from most consumer tech companies during the COVID lockdowns, and the declines many have experienced more recently, a drop in tablet shipments this year shouldn’t be too surprising.
Finally, Kuo expects that the next iPad Apple releases will be the iPad Mini. He thinks a new model will go into production in the first quarter of 2024, succeeding the last refresh in 2021.