While the iPad was once presented as the middle ground between a phone and a computer, the ultra-noncommittal among us may soon have yet one more option: Apple (AAPL) – Get Apple Inc. Report is reportedly working on a foldable iPad/MacBook hybrid.
20 Inches? Foldable Screen?
Display Supply Chain Consultants analyst Ross Young was the first to write that Apple has been exploring the option of a “foldable notebook” alongside the foldable iPhone that was rumored to hit shelves in 2023.
While the news has never been mentioned by Apple and no photos publicly exist, DSCC reports it have a 20-inch screen that could transform from a monitor to a keyboard depending on its position.
“This size could create a new category for Apple and would result in a true dual use product, a notebook with a full-size keyboard when folded and for use as a monitor when not folded and used with an external keyboard,” DSCC wrote in its report.
Bloomberg tech reviewer Mark Gurman also confirmed that this type of device is reportedly in the work and could come out by 2026.
Details Are Sparse But Here’s What We Know
“The company could go with a foldable 20-inch screen attached to a physical keyboard or just have one side of the display serving as a virtual keyboard,” Gurman writes in his newsletter.
“I’m told Apple has indeed been exploring a dual-screen, foldable MacBook/iPad hybrid that would take the second approach.”
It is still too early to estimate the market for a new type of hybrid but, as recent sales numbers have shown, the iPad itself has not been selling so well in recent months.
In the quarter ending on Dec. 25, sales of the iPad tablet fell 14% to $7.25 billion.
The reasons for that have to do with more than mere customer preference as a global semiconductor shortage may have pushed Apple to prioritize production of the more popular phones instead of tablets.
But if smaller and lighter is the goal for the hybrid, Apple may have its market.
Since first introduced in 2010, the iPad received heavy criticism for being too heavy to constantly carry around like an iPhone, and too small to fully replace a primary computer.
Time will tell whether yet another hybrid option will be the one to finally address all those worries.
“According to Young, the company is targeting a release around 2026, which would put in the same time period as an Apple car and its long-anticipated AR glasses,” Gurman said.