Apple could launch a foldable device as early as 2026 to replace iPad Mini

Apple is reportedly exploring the foldable market with plans for a 7-inch to 8-inch device that could replace the iPad Mini, according to Korean publication The Elec. The publication suggests a launch timeframe for the device could be between 2026 and 2027.

Apple is reportedly also working on an OLED iPad mini and there have been rumors that it could happen in 2026. So, this makes things a bit confusing as to whether the rumored device is either a foldable iPhone or a foldable iPad.

Regardless, behind the scenes, Apple has been reportedly collaborating with display suppliers Samsung and LG, who have been supplying 7-inch and 8-inch foldable panel samples since the previous year. 

Samsung is said to be leading the race in developing these panels for Apple’s foldable device. However, reports suggest that there are divergent views between Apple, Samsung, and LG on crucial elements such as ultra-thin glass, cover windows, and hinge design. So this could result in delayed mass production of Apple’s foldable. 

But if Apple opts for a 2026 launch, it’s expected to use Samsung’s existing OLED production line, currently used for iPhones. Interestingly, rumors hint at a larger 20.5-inch foldable device in development, though its timeframe remains unclear.

The exact form and functionality of Apple’s first foray into the foldable device market remain shrouded in mystery. Nevertheless, the recent development indicates Apple’s consideration of entering this domain. 

As the competition in the foldable arena is currently dominated by established players like Samsung and Huawei, only time will reveal how Apple plans to distinguish itself in this evolving market landscape.



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