Foldable iPad: 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 iPad 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. It might even arrive before the iPhone.

When Will the Foldable iPad Be Released?

There are currently two rumors that are swirled together: a foldable iPad and a foldable MacBook. They could be the same device or totally separate devices.

It makes sense. 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.

However, it's not clear if it'll be a MacBook. In fact, it might end up being included in the tablet category—a foldable iPad running iPadOS.

In late 2022, the CCS Insight analyst firm predicted that Apple could launch a foldable iPad in 2024. So, the rumor of a foldable MacBook could be referring to an iPad. FrontPageTech picked up a similar report from The Elec that Apple's working on a 20-inch foldable display. And the same idea was provided by serial leaker Ming-Chi Kuo in 2023.

Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman, and Ross Young, however, say we could see a foldable MacBook in 2025. And an iPad that folds might not even be planned at the moment.

Lifewire's Release Date Estimate

Without clarity, we'll assume for now that a foldable display of some kind is in fact coming from Apple. Kuo's 2024 estimate is what we'll go with, and we'll assume it's a foldable iPad. This timeline makes sense considering a foldable iPhone is said to come after, and that's expected in 2025.

Foldable iPad Price Rumors

An all-screen touch device, presumably measured at 20 inches, will no doubt be priced in the thousands. Since a foldable iPad 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

2024 is still a long way out, so there won't be a foldable iPad 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 iPad Features

Young says the foldable 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 iPad 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 iPad 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 the MacBook Folio. Check out that video for some neat ideas of how this could turn out.

The Latest News About the Foldable iPad

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

Was this page helpful?