Apple eyes 8-inch folding iPad for possible 2026 launch


AI rendering of a folding iPad.
Apple's working on a folding iPad and it could look like this rendering from Midjourney.
Render: Midjourney/Lewis Wallace

The first foldable device from Apple could be a 7-inch or 8-inch iPad, according to an unconfirmed report coming from Asia.

The potential tablet would be an iPad mini that could fold down small enough to easily slip into a pants pocket.

A folding iPad mini in 2026? Maybe.

Multiple leaks indicate that Apple has been considering folding devices for years. A trusted analyst said the company was looking at the potential of a 9-inch foldable display in 2022, for example.

On Friday, Korean-language site The Elec reported that Apple is now considering a folding iPad with a screen between 7 inches and 8 inches. The launch remains a bit far in the future, though: The potential release is supposedly coming in 2026 or 2027.

An 8-inch iPadOS tablet that folds in half would measure about 5.3 inches by 3.8 inches, compared to the 6.3-inch by 3-inch dimensions of an iPhone 15 Pro Max. The iPad would have 26.5 square inches of screen area versus the iPhone’s 17 square inches.  The foldable would be about twice as thick when closed, of course.

The device might replace iPad mini in Apple’s product lineup, though the plans are apparently still up in the air. A separate rumor says Apple is considering an iPad mini with an OLED display in 2026.

Apple needs to explore foldables

Some people have closed their mind to the entire foldables category, but Apple would be remiss if it wasn’t exploring a wide range of possible changes to all its products. That includes flexible screens.

It only makes sense. Despite sometimes-vocal opposition, a poll of consumers in 2023 showed reasonable demand for foldable handsets. Samsung is already hard at work on its sixth-generation Galaxy Fold. And respected TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently said Apple risks missing out on a “new paradigm in high-end mobile phone design” if it doesn’t produce a folding iPhone.

Based on the leaks that have surfaced, Apple seems to be more interested in a folding iPad than an iPhone, though a handset is possible, too. There was even a report of a 20-inch foldable MacBook on the drawing board.


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