Apple’s rumored foldable iPad is now in “intensive development” and could be announced as soon as late 2024, DigiTimes reports.
In a paywalled report that cites supply chain sources, DigiTimes outlines how Apple is now working with suppliers on foldable iPad development, ahead of small-scale production toward the end of 2024. The Taiwanese publication believes that this indicates Apple could announce the device in late 2024 or early 2025 if progress remains steady.
Apple has apparently been working on foldable products for four years and continuously made design changes in this time, planning to release a foldable iPad before working on a foldable iPhone. Apple chose to focus on the iPad because it makes up a comparatively small proportion of the company’s sales, meaning that potential issues are easier to manage and less impactful.
The company has reportedly not yet finalized the design of the foldable iPad. Initially, Apple’s product design team led the project but this role is now said to have shifted to the procurement department to bring down costs. Apple’s main objective at this stage is to achieve a more cost-effective design, motivating contentious changes to the device.
A main issue is said to be the device’s panel and hinges, with Apple being particularly concerned about the display creasing. The company is reportedly looking to Samsung and LG to provide a display that mitigates the creasing effect using mechanical design solutions. Apple is reportedly able to obtain sufficient supply of the device’s hinge, but is still seeking a design that is more cost-effective and easy to mass produce, which could require further simplification and reduction in the number of parts.
Mass production is expected to commence in 2025. The foldable iPad could boost iPad shipments, sparking an uptick in otherwise shrinking global tablet sales.
More to follow…Tags: DigiTimes, Foldable iPad
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