Forget the M3 iPad Pro, Apple's first foldable is tipped to be a 20.3-inch hybrid device and it's coming sooner than you might think

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Apple might be late to the foldable smartphone market but it could actually be surprisingly early to the foldable tablet one if a new report turns out to have any merit.

Rumors surrounding Apple's plans for a foldable iPhone have been hit and miss in recent years, but they're starting to solidify around something arguably more interesting. If the rumors are accurate, Apple is working on a new 20.3-inch foldable hybrid device that looks set to cross the borders between iPad and Mac, doing double duty as it goes.

What's more, Haitong International Securities analyst Jeff Pu says that we won't have to wait too long for the mystery foldable to break cover — it could be ready to enter mass production next year.

Fold all the things

Following reports earlier this year that Apple could be working on as many as two foldable iPhones, a Pu research note seen by 9to5Mac suggests that it's full steam ahead on a single foldable hybrid. Those who would prefer their bendy devices to be of an iPhone form factor will have to wait until 2026, he says, but at least it's still in the cards. A recent report suggested that the foldable iPhone was in doubt.

Pu does however believe that Apple is testing a pair of foldable iPhones with display sizes of 7.9 inches and 8.3 inches. As for the tablet, that'll be a "new lineup for Apple."

Rumors of a 20-inch foldable device have been floating around for more than two years now, but what was once a pie-in-the-sky idea now seems to be solidifying. The obvious question of whether it will run iPadOS or macOS is the elephant in the room of course, but we'll have to wait and see what Apple's plans are. If a launch really is penciled in for next year we can expect to learn much more in the coming months.

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.