A 5G-ready foldable iPad from Apple might be in the works

The new Huawei Mate X device is seen during a pre-briefing display ahead of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Huawei delayed the launch of its Mate X foldable smartphone after the Galaxy Fold debacle. (image for representational purposes only)

Apple is working on a new 5G-enabled iPad with a foldable display and could launch it in 2020, a media report said.

The rumour comes from London-based global information provider IHS Markit’s analyst Jeff Lin, who has claimed that Apple was quietly working on such a device, news portal 9To5Mac reported on Friday.

Commenting on the claim, 9to5Mac stated: “The product would apparently feature MacBook sized screens, which isn’t too much of a stretch given that the iPad Pro already tops out in a 12.9-inch size. However, it is easy to imagine how an iPad mini-sized product that could unfold to 13 or 15-inch screen would be compelling.”

In addition, the foldable iPad would also support 5G cellular radios for fast mobile Internet browsing, according to the analyst.

Currently, none of the present Apple devices support 5G connectivity.

The Cupertino-based company is expected to launch three iPhones this year.

While Apple’s 6.7-inch and 5.4-inch iPhones would be 5G-capable, a mid-size 6.1-inch iPhone would not have 5G and would likely be cheaper.

Prior to Apple’s support of 5G in its hardware, all of the major cellular companies have begun launching 5G test networks in many cities worldwide.

In May, it was revealed that the iPhone maker’s plans of introducing its own iPhone 5G chip could take as long as six years with its 5G chip making a debut in 2025.

In December last year, Apple Inc received 37 patents for a touch sensitive surface capable of scrolling and flipping pages on a connected display. At the time, it was believed that the flexible display layer might be used in a glass-unibody iPhone.

Samsung, Huawei, Royole Corp and TCL showcased their foldable smartphones at the Mobile World Congress 2019 held at Barcelona. Although the concept seems promising, their reliability is being questioned after Samsung Galaxy Fold users started experiencing major issues with the foldable display. Even Huawei delayed the launch of its Mate X foldable smartphone after the Galaxy Fold debacle.

It will be interesting to see what Apple would do to make a foldable tablet that is not marred with such issues. To offer a compelling product, Apple will also have to make its OS ready for foldable devices for a seamless experience while switching between modes.


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