While many tech giants have ventured into the foldable device market, Apple has been notably absent, allowing companies like Samsung, Google, Huawei, Honor, and Motorola to take the lead. However, in a strategic shift, Apple is now setting its sights on the untapped potential of the foldable tablet market, rather than foldable smartphones.
Despite the undeniable traction foldable smartphones have gained over the years — with a growth from a mere 0.3% market share in 2019 to a robust 5% of the global premium smartphone market in recent times — Apple has chosen to observe from a distance. This perceived reluctance has left many industry experts scratching their heads, wondering if Apple had missed out on a golden opportunity. However, emerging reports suggest Apple has a different game plan in mind.
A release date has been given for the foldable iPad model!
Sources from DigiTimes have brought to light Apple's pivot towards the foldable tablet sector. Collaborating closely with its suppliers, Apple intends to commence small-scale production of a foldable iPad by late 2024. If all goes as planned, this innovative device could hit the markets by the end of 2024 or early 2025. This aligns with predictions made by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo a few months ago, who also hinted at a lightweight carbon fiber kickstand as a notable feature of this iPad.
Further insights reveal that Apple's foray into foldable technology began in 2023. The company has secured essential patents, both in design and functionality, for this venture. These patents suggest a cutting-edge foldable tablet, adorned with a flexible hinge mechanism, showcasing Apple's hallmark sleek and stylish design.
In a landscape predominantly shaped by foldable smartphones, Apple's strategic shift could significantly disrupt the status quo. While competitors have already carved out a niche in foldable tech, Apple's entry might just redefine the standards for the foldable tablet domain.