Apple's rumored foldable device could be a tablet or laptop instead of an iPhone, according to a new report

An unofficial foldable iPhone in someone's hand
(Image credit: AST)

There have been rumors of a foldable Apple iPhone since at least 2023, with many reports asserting that it would be coming in 2026. However, a new rumor has made its way through the grapevine which could put the kibosh on a foldable phone.

A Taiwanese supply chain source (reported on by MacRumors) stated that Apple has been working on this foldable device for five years and that it’s actually a “larger device” like a tablet or laptop, rather than the iPhone it’s been rumored to be for quite some time. 

The report also clarifies some previous rumors of the foldable device’s production being paused. Apparently, Apple has been having trouble developing a foldable display panel with Samsung that meets its quality standards. But this new report says that this pause and the decision to move Vision Pro engineers to the foldable project are both true.

Finally, the report states that Apple has not fully suspended foldable work, with the tech giant apparently having multiple departments handling separate foldable product lines. It also gives us a possible release date of 2025, which is a departure from the 2026 launch window we’ve gotten in previous rumor reports.

So where are our foldable Apple devices anyway?

The question that remains on many buyers’ minds is why has it taken so long for Apple to develop such a foldable device in the first place. Other manufacturers like Samsung, OnePlus, and Google have already released bendable phones into the market. And in terms of foldable tablets, Lenovo has been ahead of the curve for years.

We do have one possible reason, which is the aforementioned quality issue with the display panel. While valid, it doesn’t explain why that delay would amount to several years.

However, the new report does give me hope that Apple will skip the iPhone and make a bendable laptop or tablet instead, which is far more viable and useful. While other phone makers have put out interesting bendable phones, their overall quality has only started to reach non-bendable counterparts while the practical question of why they need to exist remains.

A foldable tablet or laptop, though, means that a much larger screen size can fit in a much smaller space. And, considering how valuable bag space real estate is when carrying such devices around coupled with being able to have screens large enough to multitask, such a device would be incredible.

This is on top of Apple’s consistent product quality, which would ensure that both its display and hinge technology are meant to last for years. If only Apple would throw us a bone.

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Allisa James
Computing Staff Writer

Named by the CTA as a CES 2023 Media Trailblazer, Allisa is a Computing Staff Writer who covers breaking news and rumors in the computing industry, as well as reviews, hands-on previews, featured articles, and the latest deals and trends. In her spare time you can find her chatting it up on her two podcasts, Megaten Marathon and Combo Chain, as well as playing any JRPGs she can get her hands on.