Two different sources are now saying that Apple is planning to introduce a hybrid iPad and MacBook foldable product, although the release date for such a device is likely several years away.
Rumors started swirling when DSCC analyst Ross Young released a report claiming Apple was in talks with vendors about a 20-inch foldable computing device.
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The device can be used in several ways. When folded into a laptop shape, the bottom half of the hybrid can be used as a keyboard. Open, you can treat the device like a large tablet. Additionally, the hybrid could be used with an external keyboard to function as a portable monitor and all-in-one computer.
Here is exactly what Young said:
We're hearing there's interest in the largest size so far, around 20.x". This size could create a new category for Apple and lead to a true dual-purpose product, a laptop with a keyboard full size when folded and can be used as a monitor if not folded and used with an external keyboard. It can also allow UHD/4K resolution or even higher resolution than this size. However, the delay is probably later than 2025, it could be 2026 or 2027.
Analyst reports like this rely on information from Apple's supply chain, which can be insightful but often incomplete. Apple suppliers often don't know the full context or scope of what Apple is working on; they only know their small part. So if we were to rely on the analyst report alone, the hypothetical hybrid device might not be worth much fanfare.
However, Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman — whose name you might know if you've followed product news over the past few years thanks to his often accurate predictions quoting people first-hand familiar with Apple's plans — confirmed the analyst report in its latest weekly newsletter. . Here is what he said:
I was told that Apple was indeed investigating a dual-screen foldable MacBook/iPad hybrid that would take the second approach. It would swap the physical keyboard and trackpad for a full touchscreen base (the Lenovo model above gives you an idea of what that might look like).
He noted that the device had been in development for a number of years, but made no other statement regarding the release window other than to point out what Young had predicted.
Apple wouldn't be the first company to try a foldable hybrid. Lenovo did something similar with the ThinkPad X1 Fold, for example. However, designs like this are far from a mainstream idea.
A device like this from Apple would likely include a future successor to the M1 chip, meaning it would offer much better performance than previous offerings like this.
Nevertheless, the product must not eventually become a commercial reality. Young said Apple was discussing the concept with vendors, and Gurman said Apple was "investigating" the idea. But these reports both suggest that this is just the beginning. When a concept is so nascent, the company's plans could eventually change or be scrapped.