Apple's foldable could be an iPhone or iPad mini replacement, says confusing report

Supply chain report says Apple's first foldable device could arrive in 2026 or 2027 – later than some believe sources – but it's unclear whether it will be a foldable iPhone or an iPad mini replacement.

It's difficult to make sense of the report because there are so few details, and the author admits they are unknown. #8217;actually I don't know what that means …

Apple is in no hurry

We've noted many times before that Apple, as usual, is taking a wait-and-see approach to foldable devices, allowing competitors like Samsung to suffer from all the hassles of trying to stay in the market. advanced technologies.

Samsung provided an example of the dangers of launching new technology too early with the launch of the first Galaxy Fold model. turns out to be a complete disaster. While pre-orders went well, it only took 48 hours before major problems were discovered when reviewers tested the device. Samsung initially said it was delaying the launch until May before canceling pre-orders. The company then announced a July release, but canceled that too.

It finally launched, but even by the fourth iteration, our sister site 9to5Google discovered that its biggest flaw was still present: screen cracked a few days after arrival!

Folding iPhone or iPad?

As we noted earlier, the big question is whether Apple will release an iPhone that folds in half into an ultra-pocket size or an iPad that folds in half to iPhone size.

There are two different ways to create a foldable iPhone that opens up to reveal an 8-inch display. First, it folds vertically, like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2. You get a device thin enough to fit in a jacket pocket, which then opens up to a fairly wide display, similar to an iPad mini.

Alternative – horizontal folding, like the 2019 Motorola Razr. This gives you a super-pocketable device that turns into an even bigger Pro Max, creating more vertical space rather than horizontal.

Once upon a time, most of you agreed on this. I think the Razr approach makes more sense – although we'll see below if that's still the case.

Latest Supply Chain Report

Elec's latest report isn't exactly helping. It says that display suppliers Samsung and LG have been sending samples of foldable screens to Apple for the company's review for some time – and that the latest ones are in the 7-8 inch range.

Samsung Display and LG Display are reported to have already sent Apple samples of the latest 6-inch foldable panels and the latest 7-inch foldable panels, respectively, last year.

For late 7″ and early 8″ folding panel. For the products Apple is considering [this year], industry speculation is that it will be a foldable iPhone or a foldable iPad. The nature of the product and its specifications have not yet been finalized […]

The concept of Apple's late 7-inch and early 8-inch foldable product is to replace the 8.3-inch iPad mini

9to5Mac's Opinion

One theory is that the device is a foldable device. iPhone. Currently, the largest iPhone screen Apple makes is 6.7 inches diagonally, but if you imagine a Razr-style device that folds down the middle, an 8-inch display would still be pocketable.

Another theory is that Apple is working on a foldable iPad before a foldable iPhone. Imagine, say, an 11-inch iPad that folds down to the size of an iPad mini.

However, this report specifically suggests a display in the 7- to 8-inch range. Fold that in half and you get an iPhone. So will it replace the iPad mini?

You could argue that if you have a foldable iPhone with an 8-inch screen, then you don't need the iPad mini anymore. The problem with this argument is the price. Foldable devices are expensive, and large-screen iPhones are expensive. Put those two together and you get something that will likely cost a lot more than the iPad mini.

Given that a large portion of the iPad mini market is business, it could be used for things like this , like stocking and ordering tablets for restaurants. service staff, price is key, so I don't think Apple will abandon this device even if it releases a foldable iPhone with the same screen size.

The bottom line is that this report doesn't mean much. . Even if the site's sources are correct, the only reliable information is that Apple's two largest display suppliers sent the company samples of foldable displays in different sizes, which is hardly sensational news. Suppliers send Apple samples of all sorts of products all the time.

Although, while we're at it, let's update this survey. If you have a choice between, say, an 11-inch or 12-inch iPad that folds down to an iPad-sized iPad mini, or something the size of an iPhone Pro that folds out into a 7-inch or 8-inch iPad mini, that would you rather?

Collage by 9to5Mac using images from Apple and Luke Chesser on Unsplash

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