Foldable MacBook: News and Expected Price, Release Date, Specs; and More Rumors

You might be able to use it as a laptop, tablet, or monitor

Apple fans excited about the foldable iPhone might one day have a matching MacBook to pair with it. At least that's the rumor: a big, foldable touch screen you can convert to a 20-inch tablet or monitor.

When Will the Foldable MacBook Be Released?

It sort of makes sense, actually. You have the smaller iPhone and the larger iPad. Instead of an even bigger phone or tablet, why not throw macOS on it and call it a MacBook? That's the idea if Ross Young's foldable/rollable report is to be considered reliable. And it probably should, since he's often a dependable source for early news like this.

It's still really early, though, so we're not sure if it'll be called a MacBook or something entirely different. In fact, it might end up being included in the tablet category—a foldable iPad running iPadOS sounds a bit more likely, especially if it'll arrive around the same time as the iPhone foldable. That's without mentioning Apple's disinterest in creating a touchscreen MacBook.

In fact, in October 2022, the CCS Insight analyst firm predicted that Apple could launch a foldable iPad in 2024. So, the rumor of a foldable MacBook could in fact be referring to a foldable iPad. Only time will tell if these are the same thing or if they will be completely distinct products.

In late 2022, FrontPageTech picked up a similar report from The Elec that Apple's working on a 20-inch foldable display. It suggests a 2027 release date.

Lifewire's Release Date Estimate

2026 sounds about right, considering a foldable iPhone would probably be introduced first.

Foldable MacBook Price Rumors

An all-screen touch device, presumably measured at 20 inches, will no doubt be priced in the thousands. Since a foldable MacBook, if that's what it really ends up being, is an interesting mix between a laptop, tablet, and monitor, we can look at Apple's other similar products for an idea of what this one might cost.

The 16-inch MacBook Pro starts off at $2,500, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is $1,100, and the 32-inch Pro Display XDR is priced at $5,000. For easy math, let's average all three, and then bump it up a bit for its multi-use properties.

Our guess is anywhere from $3,000 to $3,500, but this estimate will probably change over time as we learn more about how this device might work and how other similar products are priced. Asus' Zenbook 17 Fold OLED will be a decent reference, but its price is unknown at this time.

Zenbook 17 Fold OLED
Zenbook 17 Fold OLED.

ASUSTeK Computer Inc. 

Pre-Order Information

2025 is still a long way out, so there won't be a foldable MacBook pre-order link available anytime soon. Like most devices, the pre-order page will go live the same day or shortly after Apple's announcement event.

Stay tuned in to when Apple events are happening to be the first to know about this new product category.

Foldable MacBook Features

Young says the MacBook will have a dual purpose: a laptop when folded, and a monitor/tablet when unfolded. This means there will be an on-screen keyboard like all touch devices, but when it's used as a display only, you'll be able to hook up a keyboard and mouse and use it like you would any monitor.

A keyboard will most likely fit where one does normally on a laptop, so it can be used as such when folded; just rest it on the bottom half of the touchscreen. We think there might also be a stand of some sort, too, so you can prop it up like a full monitor and attach the keyboard to it like you would with an iMac.

So all in all, the foldable MacBook might be considered a three-in-one: monitor, tablet, and computer. Of course, like any tablet, this could also end up being your oversized eReader.

Foldable MacBook Specs and Hardware

With just one source to pull information from, all we know at this stage is the foldable might have a display around 20 inches. It's assumed to be a full-screen touch display, meaning there isn't a built-in physical keyboard. The whole thing will be a screen. You can think of it as a huge tablet, like the Zenbook 17 Fold that Asus revealed at CES 2022.

Zenbook 17 Fold OLED
Zenbook 17 Fold OLED.

ASUSTeK Computer Inc.

With Asus' device, the keyboard can rest between the screens when it's folded up. Apple will likely borrow this technique so there's a place to store the keyboard while traveling.

It'll no doubt have all the typical ports you'd expect on an Apple laptop, like Thunderbolt, HDMI, a headphone jack, etc. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support is obvious, and it might even have a cellular model. 1-2 TB of storage is likely.

Concept designer Antonio De Rosa names their vision for this foldable MacBook Folio. Check out that video for some neat ideas of how this could turn out.

Below, Majin Bu conceptualizes a device where the foldable part of the display is at the Touch Bar area, and there's still a physical keyboard. This doesn't seem to have a tablet-only or monitor-only function like the rumors say, though it could still include a 20-inch screen to set it above the 2021 16-inch MacBook Pro.

The Latest News About the Foldable MacBook

You can get more laptop news from Lifewire. Below are current rumors and other news stories about the foldable MacBook:

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