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Foldable iPad could replace iPad mini starting in 2026

Apple's current iPad mini could be replaced by a folding version

Apple is said to be working with suppliers and considering a 2026 timeframe for the release of a foldable iPad.

Following years of rumors of an iPhone Fold, most recent rumors have shifted to predicting Apple will release a foldable iPad first. Several sources have said it may even come in 2024, though that particular detail is repeatedly contested.

Now The Elec claims to have information that Apple is looking to schedule a small, folding iPad for release sometime between 2026 or 2027.

Specifically, The Elec says that the foldable iPad would be either a 7-inch or an 8-inch model. The current iPad mini has an 8.3-inch screen, and the publication claims that this is the device the foldable iPad will replace.

Given the size, though, it surmises that this could instead be a foldable iPhone. The present iPhone 15 Pro has a 6.7-inch screen, but a folding version could keep the present chassis size and offer a larger display.

The Elec also notes, though, that Apple has reportedly been developing a flat OLED panel for the iPad mini. The publication concludes that this means Apple has yet to decide on when to release a foldable device.

Citing industry sources, The Elec says that both Samsung and LG are developing foldable display panels for Apple. It says, though, that Samsung is more active in the development.

Separately, The Elec claims that a 20-inch foldable device will definitely come later than the 7- or 8-inch model. It also reports that the iPhone will be redesigned in 2027, though it offers no details.

The Elec is a decent source of information from within Apple's supply chain, but it is less accurate in predictions it forms about what Apple will do. Friday's report is more of the latter.