Apple will release a foldable iPad in 2024


Analyst group CCS Insight has made a surprising prediction about Apple’s possible move into the foldable device market in the coming years.

CCS Insight has said that Apple will buck the foldable smartphone trend, but will likely release an iPad with a foldable screen in 2024.

This is a marked departure from rivals that have already released foldable smartphones, such as the Samsung Galaxy Fold, Huawei’s Mate X, Xiaomi’s Mix Mix Fold and Motorola’s Razr foldable phone.

foldable ipad

Meanwhile, Microsoft has previously unveiled its tablet-sized Surface Neo device that offers dual screens, with a hinge in the middle.

However, Microsoft has not brought it to market.

Instead, it launched the Surface Duo (a smartphone-sized foldable device) that is currently on sale.

But now CCS Insight has predicted that Apple will soon join the foldable technology movement, offering a foldable device, namely a foldable iPad in 2024.

The prediction came after CCS Insight released its annual forecasts report on Tuesday, in which the group’s analysts make forecasts about future products and trends.

In the latest report, CCS Insight predicted that Apple would release a foldable iPad within two years instead of starting with a foldable iPhone.

“Right now it doesn’t make sense for Apple to make a foldable iPhone,” Ben Wood, head of research at CCS Insight, told CNBC in an interview. “We think they’ll buck that trend and probably dip a toe in the water with a foldable iPad.”

“A foldable iPhone will be a very high risk for Apple,” Wood said. “First of all, it would have to be incredibly expensive to not cannibalize existing iPhones.”

The analyst also said that a foldable iPhone would likely cost around $2,500. Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro Max with the largest storage, which is currently the most expensive model, costs around $1,599.

Wood also said that if Apple had any technical issues with the foldable phone, it would be a “feeding frenzy” with critics attacking Apple over the issues.

Still, Apple “has no choice but to react because the foldable trend is gaining momentum,” Wood said, quoted by CNBC, for which the company will start with an iPad.

Wood said it would give Apple a chance to learn how to implement and scale foldable screen technology, as well as “breath new life” into the iPad lineup.

Apple was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.

Long time to arrive?

There has been previous speculation about Apple’s intentions with foldable products.

In February 2020, for example, Apple was granted a patent for a foldable device with a unique hinge mechanism, sparking speculation that the iPad maker was developing a foldable iPhone.

That patent revealed that it used a hinge that was, so to speak, a folding screen. In fact, Apple’s hinge mechanism would ensure proper separation between the first and second parts of the screen.

Essentially, when the device is unfolded (according to the patent), the movable flaps would extend to cover the gap and then retract when the device is folded back.

Then, in May 2021, an Apple watcher (TFI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo) predicted that Apple would likely release a foldable iPhone in 2023.

Then, earlier this year, market research firm Display Supply Chain Consultants said Apple was unlikely to enter the foldable smartphone market until 2025 at the earliest, CNBC reported.

However, the company said that Apple is exploring foldable technology for screens around 20 inches in size. That could focus on a new foldable laptop product, the market research company said.

token intentions

Meanwhile, CNBC also reported that CCS Insight has predicted that Apple will continue to invest in its own chip design.

Currently, the Cupertino giant designs its own custom chips for iPhone and iPad. It relies on US chipmaker Qualcomm for the modems that allow these devices to connect to mobile internet networks for 5G connectivity.

However, CCS Insight said that Apple is likely to integrate its own 5G modem into the A-series of processors for a “single-chip” solution for iPhones in 2025.

In November 2021, it was reported that Apple would be ditching its uneasy vendor relationship with Qualcomm and its 5G modems in its iPhone phones. The report stated that starting in 2023, Apple will switch to its own iPhone 5G modem design, with the 4nm chips being built by long-time partner TSMC.

Apple to use its own iPhone 5G modem design in 2023: report

The move is not unexpected. Apple has had a troubled history with iPhone modems, and in July 2019 it acquired Intel’s mobile modem business for $1 billion in an effort to set its own fate for this vital component.

Apple spends $1 billion to acquire Intel Modem Biz

Apple in ‘advanced talks’ to acquire Intel Modem Business

Apple explores purchase of Intel’s modem unit: report

broken modem

The acquisition of Intel’s modem business gave Apple the tools to design its own modems for iPhone devices to connect to 5G networks.

The Intel acquisition also marked the gradual end of an intensely uneasy relationship between Apple and Qualcomm.

Apple was forced to use Intel modems in its iPhones for a while, after a big royalty payment breakup between Apple and Qualcomm in 2018.

Intel and Apple Discuss iPhone Chip Deal – Report

In its lawsuit, Qualcomm alleged that Apple had developed a “complex plan” to steal proprietary information and share it with Intel and others over a period of several years, in order to reduce its own costs.

Qualcomm accuses Apple of stealing secret technology

Apple, in turn, accused Qualcomm of abusing its market dominance and said the fees Qualcomm charged were unfair.

Apple sues Qualcomm in London court over iPhone tech charges

At the same time, Apple was never really happy with Intel (or maybe just its price), and in July 2018, Apple was reportedly considering dropping Intel’s 5G modems in future iPhone phones.

Apple to launch Intel 5G chip for 2020 iPhones: report

Apple was also reportedly losing confidence in Intel’s ability to meet its deadline for 5G modems (it should be remembered that Apple was seriously behind in delivering a 5G-capable iPhone to market).

Apple Loses Confidence in Intel’s 5G Chip Deadline: Report

This lack of faith in Intel caused Apple to surprise many in April 2019, when it kissed and reconciled with Qualcomm, stopping all legal action between the two.

Apple surprises with Qualcomm deal

Apple’s £21bn patent lawsuit against Qualcomm reaches court

In that deal, Apple agreed to make an undisclosed payment to Qualcomm and to use Qualcomm’s modem chips in the future.

Qualcomm says Apple owes it $7 billion in royalties

But Apple didn’t forget and had other long-term plans, which CSS Insight has suggested are underway.


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