A report from Korean outlet, The Elec, states that Apple is currently working on two foldable devices, one of which will supposedly have a 20-inch display, while the other a 10-inch one said to replace the current iPad Mini 6.
Reporter Lee Ki-Jong writes (kindly excuse any mistranslations)
Given that the screen size is in its early 20 inches when unfolded, the project product is likely to be in a form close to a MacBook (laptop). Assuming a 20-inch product is 20.25 inches, it will be 15.3 inches in size when folded.
It’s difficult to imagine how such a large device would be used from a practical standpoint, given Apple’s historied design mindset of “form follows function” touted by former chief of design, Jony Ive; which can be assumed is also the reason why Apple have yet to release a foldable phone to match competitors like Samsung. Interestingly, this last point is something that Lee Ki-Jong mentions in their report as well:
With the aim of 2025, the following year when Apple launches its first OLED iPad, Apple is still developing a foldable IT product that can replace the iPad mini lineup of less than 10 inches. Meanwhile, the prospect of a foldable iPhone is unlikely to come out is dominant. This is because it is not necessary to fold it and use it, and the advantage is not noticeable when it is folded.
A foldable iPad Mini would definitely make sense. Being able to switch between a 7/8-inch display to a larger, 10/12-inch one would be something that I, personally, would be very excited to see. Though Apple moving away from their current mini-LED display technology in favour of OLED would be a curious decision, mainly because of how well the mini-LED display on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro performs. However, if they “trickle down” the mini-LED display to the iPad Air, and upgrade the Pros to OLED, then I can see this happening – granted with (yet another) price hike for all devices – and 2024 seems like an appropriate timeframe to expect such an upgrade.
Apple are no longer (and haven’t been for many years) in the forefront of design, choosing instead to refine instead of innovate (once again, “form follows function”). So the introduction of a 20-inch device that could (possibly) compete with the MacBook, seems a little far-fetched in my eyes, unless this is a stand-alone product like an Apple Home of some sort. A foldable iPad Mini on the other hand, a device that stands on its own without competing with either the Air or Pro, is something that seems very possible. A foldable iPhone may not be in the works, but we’ll have to wait and see.