A supply chain report from South Korean publication The Elec suggests Apple is tying up with LG for foldable OLED panels with a super-thin cover glass for an upcoming iPad or MacBook model. Meanwhile, reputed Tianfeng International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has revised his prediction for the launch of a foldable iPhone. He previously claimed a foldable iPhone could become a reality as soon as 2024, but now he says such a device isn’t coming before 2025.
The supply chain report claims that LG is working with Apple to create a super-thin foldable display that uses glass as a protective layer instead of polyamide like most other mass-market foldable screens.
For the uninitiated, LG Display is a reputable supplier of foldable OLED panels. It is reportedly working on shipping 17-inch foldable 4K OLED displays to HP this year for a foldable notebook with a display that measures 11-inches when folded inwards. In the past, the company also provided Lenovo with the panels required for the ThinkPad X1 Fold.
The supply chain report aligns with the previous speculation from Display Supply Chain Consultants analyst Ross Young. He said Apple is exploring the possibility of developing an all-screen foldable notebook with 20-inch usable screen size. Young also speculated that these foldable devices could kickstart a new product segment for Apple, wedged squarely between the iPhone and iPad.
Now, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has revised his prediction for the launch of a similar device. He says Apple could launch a device that “may be a iPad or a hybrid of iPad and iPhone.” He says such a device could break cover no earlier than 2025. He adds that Apple is actively testing a foldable OLED display about nine inches measured diagonally, with the pixel density between that of the iPhone and iPad.
I expected Apple to launch a foldable iPhone as soon as 2024 in my reports last year, but now it's clear this prediction needs to be revised. I predict Apple may launch its first foldable product in 2025 at the earliest, which may be a foldable iPad or a hybrid of iPad & iPhone. https://t.co/HGIDPFvdar
— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) April 1, 2022
All in all, rumors about Apple’s experimentation with foldable display technology are a mixed bag. It’s hard to say when we will see a practical foldable device from the brand, and it seems to be even harder to predict what the device will be. What do you think? Will Apple just omit foldable display technology? Tell us in the comments.