Apple Analyst Predicts A Foldable iPad Is Coming But Brace Yourself For Sticker Shock

Apple iPad hero
Apple is brewing up a significantly different iPad, according to analyst firm CCS Insight. After years of producing inflexible rounded rectangular slabs, it is claimed Apple will debut the first folding iPad in 2024. We have seen several other tech titans conjure-up folding devices already, but some reckon it takes Cupertino’s Midas touch to make things compellingly mainstream, so we look forward to its first take on the foldable form factor.

Readers might raise an eyebrow over the analyst prediction that Apple will work to introduce foldable screen technology to its iPad line first, rather than a new iPhone. Several smartphone making rivals have offered foldables for several generations already. CCS Insight explains that this is due to risk. iPhones are Apple’s golden goose, and it feels more comfortable testing folding form factors, hardware and software, on what was considered to be a fading star until the pandemic broke out.

Thus, the iPad is going to be the first Apple iDevice to get the foldable screen technology treatment in 2024, say CCS Insight analysts. It isn’t just getting the technology right that is crucial for Apple with the upcoming iPad—large foldable screens are still expensive to manufacture, so new price points will have to be pushed with a foldable iPad, with the worries about consumer resistance. Giving us a feel for the frightening prices we could be looking at, Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight, told CNBC that the first foldable iPhone (not iPad) would likely be pitched to consumers at $2,500.

LG foldable 17 laptop
LG is one of Apple's probable folding display technology partners

The analysts say that Apple will start experimenting with foldable iPads soon. Foldables have picked up momentum in the industry, and Apple doesn’t want to leave it too late for its foldable iOS devices.

Another tech industry analyst firm, specializing in computer displays, thinks that Apple will finally launch a foldable iPhone in 2025. Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) said that Apple isn’t looking at smaller form factor foldables as yet, but earlier this year noted it had been exploring the use of foldable screens that were 20-inches+. That sounds too big for a tablet, and would more likely be used in a Mac laptop product.

While pondering over these analyst predictions, there is another important one for your consideration. Apple is extremely keen on vertically integrating its business—and it has demonstrated this time and again, with its ruthless moves against suppliers who probably thought they were indispensable (e.g. Imagination Tech, Intel, Motorola). Not too long ago, Apple bought up the assets of Intel’s modem unit, and Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities reckons it will probably be ready to integrate a self-designed 5G modem into the Apple A series silicon by 2025. Currently, Apple relies on Qualcomm for such modems, but at least the big Q has had fair warning that this sizable market is going to evaporate a couple of years down the line.