Apple’s foldable iPhone could land as soon as 2026

iPhone 15 Plus review back angled corner
The iPhone 15 Plus (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

There’s been talk of a foldable iPhone for years now, yet Apple’s first foldable remains unreleased, and we haven’t even seen any imagery of it yet, other than sketches in patents. That might change relatively soon though, as the latest leak suggests this foldable could launch in 2026.

This is according to Korean website The Elec (via MacRumors), which says to expect Apple’s first foldable in either 2026 or 2027. The site adds that Apple's foldable display will be in the region of 7-8 inches, which would put it in competition size wise with the 7.6-inch Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5.

Such a large size also means this Apple foldable will probably have a book-style design like Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold line, rather than a flip phone design like the smaller Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5.

A foldable iPhone or a foldable iPad?

Curiously, The Elec claims that it’s unclear at this stage whether this will be a foldable iPhone or a foldable iPad. If the latter, it might replace the iPad mini line, though as the site points out, Apple is also thought to be actively developing an iPad mini with an OLED screen.

This probably wouldn't be the iPad mini 7, which is thought to be landing fairly soon without OLED, so there's the question then of whether Apple would really launch both an OLED iPad mini in likely 2025 or later, followed by a foldable iPad soon after.

According to The Elec, Apple might be asking itself that same question, as apparently the company hasn’t actually decided whether to make this a foldable iPhone or a foldable iPad yet, and the specifications reportedly haven’t been finalized yet either, which makes it sound like this is still quite early in development.

Despite that, both Samsung Display and LG Display have reportedly been sending Apple 7-inch and 8-inch screen samples since last year, with Samsung Display likely to be the primary display supplier due to the experience it has developed in creating screens for the Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip lines.

Still, it sounds like the information here is very preliminary and that anything could change, so for now we wouldn’t count on Apple releasing anything foldable in 2026 or 2027, but we wouldn’t count it out either.

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James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.