Remember when Samsung insiders claimed that Apple would probably enter the foldable race with a folding iPad in 2024? It looks like the plan is further away than previously expected, thanks to Apple’s glacier-like move towards OLED screen technology.

That’s according to a Nikkei Asia report which confirms that Apple has “started evaluating the possibility of making foldable iPads after it deploys the flexible OLED screens on the tablet”, but adds that there is no “concrete timeline for doing so”. So says two inside sources, anyway.

The report also claims that Apple is actively working on its first OLED MacBook, but that we shouldn’t expect such a laptop to emerge until the “second half of 2025 at the earliest”. That matches with the previous timeline that we’d seen, which tips the MacBook Pro of going OLED in 2026 and the Air following a year later.

All of this suggests that Samsung will be largely left with a free hand in the foldable space until 2025 at the earliest, which sounds like a good thing. But  counterintuitively, the company may find itself a bit disappointed by this news. Yes, technically it means it has the foldable playing field largely to itself for a bit longer, but currently said field is like a five-a-side football pitch: extremely small, with barely anyone watching. 

It’s widely assumed that when Apple joins the foldable race, the market will widen. After all, this is the company that made something as silly looking as AirPods become a must-have fashion accessory. Doing the same for something theoretically useful like foldables would be relative childs’ play.

You may wonder why Apple would make a foldable iPad rather than a folding iPhone. Well, assuming that is its eventual strategy, there are a couple of possible reasons. For one, an iPad that folds in half could be far bigger than what’s available now: a 24in screen could fold down to a portable 12 inches, when not in use which is undeniably useful.

But perhaps more importantly, the tablet market is one where Apple is comically dominant. While a third of smartphone users worldwide have iPhones, over half of tablet users go for an iPad

It may be a smaller pool, but Apple’s chances of making a big splash are increased. Plus a smaller userbase might not be a bad thing for Apple’s debut foldable. After all, Samsung had all kinds of reliability problems with the first Galaxy Fold, and Apple would no doubt rather avoid that kind of publicity… 

Alan Martin
Alan is an experienced and versatile writer with the unique distinction of having written for both The New Statesman and Nuts. The list of publications Alan has written for doesn't stop there. His work has also been published in: Wired, CNET, Gizmodo UK, ShortList, NME, TechRadar, The i, The Independent, The Evening Standard, City Metric, Macworld, Pocket Gamer, Expert Reviews, Coach, The Inquirer, Rock Paper Shotgun, Tom's Guide, T3, PC Pro, IT Pro, Ideal Home, Livingetc, Stuff, Business Insider, theBit, Wareable, and Trusted Reviews. Alan now covers a range of subjects for ReviewsFire, with a focus on news - his unique style of covering technology news is a key part of ReviewsFire's success.

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