Apple Leak Claims Foldable With Huge Display May Be A MacBook And iPad Hybrid

The foldables market is still in its infancy, but Apple may already be planning for a future in which these gadgets are far more common and in demand. According to a new leak, the company may be working on a foldable project that sports a huge display — one measuring "roughly" 20-inches across. A device at that size would likely indicate a foldable laptop or a type of laptop/tablet hybrid, which isn't a new concept despite still being a rarity on the market.

The claim was included as part of the latest newsletter from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, who cites Display Supply Chain Consultants' Ross Young as the source of the information. It's not yet clear what form this alleged foldable will take, according to the leak, which notes that Apple could either use part of the foldable screen as a large digital keyboard or combine the flexible panel with a physical keyboard — the latter of which would no doubt be more appealing to users who type on a regular basis, but make the device more clunky as a tablet.

Foldable phones show what's possible

Foldable devices have grown in popularity, though they're largely limited to the smartphone market. Samsung has released multiple generations of its Galaxy Z Flip and Galaxy Z Fold handsets, the latter of which is more like a smartphone/tablet hybrid. Motorola, too, has resurrected its popular Razr flip phone with its clamshell-style foldable under the same name. Lenovo took things one step farther during CES 2020 with its ThinkPad X1 Fold, a foldable laptop that could double as a tablet.

Despite that, folding laptops aren't anywhere close to mainstream at this time and it'll likely be years before we see anything similar from Apple — a fact backed up by Young in Gurman's report, who cites him as giving a possible release date of around 2026 for the alleged 20-inch foldable device. The leak goes on to claim that Apple has been reportedly working on this device for a "couple of years," though how many resources it has dedicated to the alleged product is unclear. The possibility of a MacBook/iPad "hybrid" is specifically mentioned, though far from confirmed.

Apple has multiple large products in the pipeline, including the Apple Car we've been hearing about for years, as well as the AR/VR headsets expected to hit the market either around the end of 2022 or sometime in 2023. It's difficult to anticipate where an Apple foldable tablet or laptop could slot in among the company's existing and upcoming products, but that assumes the alleged device will pan out at all. It's entirely possible Apple could scrap whatever concept it may currently have — or, alternatively, a foldable device brought to market may look substantially different than what sources are currently seeing.