In a report, a 20-inch iPad, MacBook Hybrid is being considered by Apple

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Photo: Caitlin McGarry/Gizmodo – When the gadget is folded, one side of it becomes a virtual keyboard. Considering Apple’s well-established release schedule, the many product rumors and leaks seldom come as a complete surprise to us. However, it does happen, and during the last week, one forecast in particular drew our attention: Apple is purportedly exploring a 20-inch foldable smartphone..

One-half of the touchscreen on the foldable gadget may be used as a virtual keyboard, similar to how the MacBook and iPad work together. I, too, was skeptical of their assertions. But there is enough evidence to indicate that Apple is contemplating a product of this kind.

There has been speculation that Apple is “investigating the possibility” of folding laptops after DSCC analyst Ross Young suggested a foldable iPhone will be postponed until 2025. We would often dismiss such bold forecasts, but this one comes from a trusted source and was subsequently repeated by one of the most prolific Apple experts, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. A “completely touch-screen base” would replace the physical keyboard on Apple’s “dual-screen, folding MacBook/iPad hybrid,” he stated in his Power On newsletter.

An OLED tablet with two 12.5″ panels, like Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Fold or ASUS’ Zenbook 17 Fold OLED, is what these descriptions indicate. Flipping them in half turns the bottom halves into keyboards, but you can also use the actual detachable one included with each model.

We’re still doubtful that Apple will go forward with these proposals as currently formulated. Despite the company’s best efforts, the Touch Bar seems to have taught them a valuable lesson: digital inputs can’t always replace physical ones. But if Apple pursues a 20-inch foldable, it would be more of an iPad rival than a danger to the MacBook—a device that would be terrific for content consumption and occasional work when connected with a real keyboard.

Asus ZenBook Fold 17 OLED
Image: Asus

According to reports, Apple is working on a bigger iPad Pro with an OLED display in the near future. This would further blur the distinctions between tablet and laptop. A foldable screen might allow Apple to increase the display’s size while still maintaining a manageable form factor (when folded, at least). I’m looking forward to seeing what new accessories or software Apple develops to make this fabled tablet even more productive than the existing iPad Pro. If you’ve ever attempted to type on an on-screen keyboard, you know how difficult it can be.

The most likely timeframe for the release of an Apple 20-inch foldable tablet is 2026 or 2027. Before Apple commits to foldable displays, other manufacturers will have tested the waters. A foldable iPhone is predicted to appear between 2023 and 2025, thus Apple might possibly benefit from this technology in the meanwhile.