A foldable iPad will likely land before a foldable iPhone

iPad Pro 12.9 (2022) on table
The iPad Pro 12.9 (2022) (Image credit: Future)

It seems almost inevitable that Apple will one day release a foldable iPhone, but it now looks increasingly likely that we’ll see a foldable iPad first.

The latest news on this front comes from Mark Gurman (via Phone Arena), who in the latest edition of his Power On newsletter claimed that Apple’s first foldable product will be a foldable iPad.

This is something we’ve heard before, with supply chain sources saying back in 2023 that a foldable iPad would launch before a foldable iPhone, probably in late 2024 or early 2025. Then, another source more recently claimed that it was unclear whether Apple’s first foldable would be a phone or a tablet, and just days ago a supply chain source stated that Apple’s first foldable is a “larger device” like a tablet or laptop.

Now, rumors of a foldable iPhone do persist too, but the consensus among recent leaks seems to be that this will land after a foldable iPad.

Too fragile for a phone

Gurman for his part added that the reason we haven’t seen any foldable devices from Apple yet is that issues such as their fragility and screen creases are unacceptable to the company. So if and when we do see a foldable iPhone, it will presumably be quite a lot more durable and polished than the best foldable phones of today.

That could also explain why we might see a foldable iPad first, since fragility is arguably less of an issue for tablets – which aren’t kept in pockets or typically taken everywhere with you.

As for when we might see either device, the most recent leaks suggest we could see a foldable iPad in 2025, followed by a foldable iPhone in September 2026. So don’t expect any foldable device from Apple this year.

As ever with leaks we’d take all of this with a pinch of salt though, especially as we’re talking about products that are probably over a year away. However, there have been noticeably more foldable iPhone and iPad leaks lately, which suggests they might at least be edging closer to launch.

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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 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.