Apple's foldable iPad could be announced as early as next year with a simplified hinge and a crease you can hardly see

iPhone fold
(Image credit: Future)

A new report has revealed that Apple’s rumored foldable iPad might be announced by the company as early as 2024 and claims the product is in “intensive development” that could one day pave the way for a foldable iPhone. 

Apple has long been rumored to be creating a new foldable iPad, and we’ve previously heard that 2024 could be a potential release window. Specifically, Apple is apparently testing a 9-inch foldable tablet, although there are rumors of devices that could be up to 20 inches in size. 

The latest report gives us another hint at the timeframe for the product and some of the challenges in creating one, as well as some exciting details about the all-important folding mechanism, the heart of any great foldable device. 

Apple’s foldable iPad

In a Digitimes report seen by iMore Wednesday, the outlet says “Apple is working with suppliers to develop a foldable iPad, and small-scale production could begin as early as the end of 2024.” According to DigiTimes, this means Apple “may be announcing this product in late 2024 or early 2025,” and could pave the way for a foldable iPhone. 

Apple has reportedly been working on the foldable for four years and is “continuously making design changes.” What’s more, the design “has not yet been finalized.”

The report does reveal Apple’s foldable will feature panels and hinges supplied by both Samsung and LG. Apple “remains concerned about the panel crease, but panel manufacturers have been able to make the crease not as noticeable to consumers through mechanical designs.” 

Apple is also apparently working to make the hinge mechanism much simpler than existing market solutions, including one cited that has 885 parts. Apple also apparently wants a design that is “more cost-effective and easy to mass produce.” The report reiterates that “current progress indicates that small-scale production of the foldable iPad could begin as early as the end of 2024 with mass production commencing in 2025.” 

Apple is apparently focusing on an iPad because iPadOS is a better complement to foldable hardware, and because the iPad is a relatively small chunk of Apple’s revenue, so the company has more margin for error without significant financial ramifications.  If Apple does get it right though, a folding iPad could surpass even the iPad Pro to become the best iPad that money can buy. 

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Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9