Apple to Launch Foldable As Early As 2026 That Could Ultimately Replace iPad Mini

Apple is considering launching its first foldable in the next few years in the form of a 7- to 8-inch device that could ultimately replace the 8.3-inch iPad mini.

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That's the latest claim to come out of Korean outlet The Elec. According to the report, Apple is reviewing a launch timeframe for the device between 2026 and 2027.

However, Apple is also actively developing an OLED iPad mini, so there remains uncertainty within Apple about the nature and specifications of the foldable. Speculation reportedly remains rife in the industry around whether it will be a foldable iPhone or foldable iPad model.

Samsung Display and LG Display have reportedly already been sending samples of 7-inch and 8-inch foldable panels to Apple since last year.

Among the panel companies, Samsung is said to be more active in developing Apple foldable panels than LG, and is the more likely primary supplier of a foldable panel if Apple decides on a 2026 release.

Apple, Samsung Display, and LG Display are also said to have "different ideas" about the ultra-thin glass material, foldable panel cover window, and the hinge concept, which is at the core of the product's mechanism. These differences reportedly involve contrasting judgements concerning product durability and reliability.

Once mass production is decided, Samsung is expected to create the foldable panel in the 6th generation A3 or A4 OLED line that it uses to make OLED panels for Apple's iPhones.

According to the report, Apple is also working on a larger 20.5-inch foldable product that is expected to be released later than the 7- to 8-inch device. The larger foldable has been rumored before by both The Elec, Bloomberg, and Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) analyst Ross Young. Young has also previously said that he expects a foldable tablet-like device in 2026 or 2027.

Related Roundup: iPad mini
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Top Rated Comments

Anonymous Freak Avatar
21 weeks ago
"…as early as…"?

That ain't "early", dawg.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
J.A.K. Avatar
21 weeks ago
Again I have to ask, do people really want this?

Foldables do seem to be getting better as the money is spent advancing the tech, but from what I've seen, they still leave a lot to be desired and offer no significant advantage for their substantial increase in price. Are there really people clamouring for foldables that the market is even there for this?
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iToph Avatar
21 weeks ago
Nah, I don’t sink so..
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AdonisSMU Avatar
21 weeks ago
An oled mini is of interest to me but a foldable iPad is probably dead to me.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kiranmk2 Avatar
21 weeks ago

Bring back more accessories like AirPort, better HomeKit infrastructure

foldable phones are stupid and never made sense to me.

foldable tablets however, I can see it.

I'd like to see one of the "rollable" devices come to fruition, but even more than the concepts that have come out so far.

Something "medium phone" size as a phone - then you roll it out, and what was the long side becomes the short side of a tablet-size device. Of course, keeping rigidity/stiffness in that would be nigh-impossible.
Rollable devices definitely seem that the best way to avoid the hinge / creasing issues

Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
contacos Avatar
21 weeks ago

foldable phones are stupid and never made sense to me.

foldable tablets however, I can see it.
It's the opposite for me. A tablet is something I mostly use stationary (sitting on a train, sitting on the couch, etc.) and also does not have the capability to make actual phone calls or texts (unless you maybe buy the mobile data version idk - FaceTime does not count) while the phone is always with me and sometimes it would be very neat to make it bigger to watch YouTube or something on the go while I dont need it as big when I simply want to text or check instagram. With a tablet it seems like the "big" folded out set up would be "default"
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)