Future MacBook Pro rumored to have a folding screen, 'iPhone Fold' coming in 2025

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in iPhone
Apple may not release a foldable iPhone until 2025 at the earliest, but the company is rumored to be investigating foldable screens for a future MacBook Pro, according to display analysts.

'iPhone Fold' render
'iPhone Fold' render


In a new report detailing foldable smartphones, Display Supply Chain Consultants has pushed back its release expectations for an "iPhone Fold" device until 2025. Previously, DSCC believed that an Apple handset with a folding display could arrive in 2023.

DSCC updated its release timeline based on discussions with sources in the supply chain. According to the firm, Apple "does not appear to be in a hurry to enter the foldable smartphone market, and it may even take longer than [2025]."

The display analysts, however, said they've received word that Apple is now interested in developing some type of foldable notebook in the 20-inch range.

"This size could create a new category for Apple and would result in a true dual use product, a notebook with a full-size keyboard when folded and for use as a monitor when not folded and used with an external keyboard," the analysts wrote. "It may also allow for UHD/4K resolution or even higher at that size. The time frame is likely later than 2025 though, it could be 2026 or 2027."

DSCC, which is run by analyst Ross Young, has an excellent track record of accurate information regarding Apple's display plans. The company has correctly predicted a number of display-related features in Apple's recent lineup.

Even if Apple's folding devices are years away, the firm says that they will be "good news" for the foldable space as a whole.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,856member
    A MacBook with a folding screen? One of the sillier rumours I've run across in a long time.
    lkrupp9secondkox2radarthekatgephyrophobia
  • Reply 2 of 21
    McBook is already a folding tablet, nyahahahaha
    FileMakerFellerpatchythepirate
  • Reply 3 of 21
    thttht Posts: 5,542member
    I'm all in on foldable tablet+laptop+monitor. I would use it all modes. 

    Using a 20" 3:2 folding display, and folding it half, or unfolding it 360° from a closed clamshell position, it can act as a 13.6" 4:3 tablet. It will be heavy (3 lb) and thick (0.5"), but can be used in bed, on coach, etc, to web browse, read books, tablet-based things.

    Unfold it 180 and dock it vertically, it can act as a 20" touchscreen iMac. With a nice external display, keyboard and trackpad, you are all set for working at a desk. If you need a big drawing canvas, it can also be laid flat on a desk, and you can use a stylus to draw, take notes, diagram, etc. You can also use it as an input device, where you use a software keyboard and software trackpad to control things on an external display.

    Then, unfolded 160° to 110° (from a clamshell position), it can act as a laptop. You are using it like a laptop, with a software keyboard on one side, presumably, a purposefully heavier side. It really has to be weighted asymmetrically, with one side a lot heavier than the other for it to be stable in laptop mode.

    The big trick of course is how the display will behave at the hinge. Ideally it won't have a crease, and it will need to be taut when at the 180° position.


    byronl
  • Reply 4 of 21
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 2,388member
    I'd think if Apple do a folding mac like thing with a touch screen it would be a new product launch. New Name new line maybe wipe out iPadPro and MacBook over time. 

    Maybe why iPadOS has been soooooooooooooooooo.......... veeeerrrrrrrryyyyyyy slow at meeting the potential of the device. New OS that isn't macOS or iOS but the best of both and compatible if the app is best of breed and minimal legacy. 
    lkrupp
  • Reply 5 of 21
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    A folding iPhone? No way. Folding phones have already jumped the shark, no one is buying them, they are a failed market. Sure, there are always a few who will buy anything just to be different but folding phones have not caught on at all. 
    macplusplusTPBlitzradarthekatSpitbath
  • Reply 6 of 21
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    tht said:
    I'm all in on foldable tablet+laptop+monitor. I would use it all modes. 

    Using a 20" 3:2 folding display, and folding it half, or unfolding it 360° from a closed clamshell position, it can act as a 13.6" 4:3 tablet. It will be heavy (3 lb) and thick (0.5"), but can be used in bed, on coach, etc, to web browse, read books, tablet-based things.

    Unfold it 180 and dock it vertically, it can act as a 20" touchscreen iMac. With a nice external display, keyboard and trackpad, you are all set for working at a desk. If you need a big drawing canvas, it can also be laid flat on a desk, and you can use a stylus to draw, take notes, diagram, etc. You can also use it as an input device, where you use a software keyboard and software trackpad to control things on an external display.

    Then, unfolded 160° to 110° (from a clamshell position), it can act as a laptop. You are using it like a laptop, with a software keyboard on one side, presumably, a purposefully heavier side. It really has to be weighted asymmetrically, with one side a lot heavier than the other for it to be stable in laptop mode.

    The big trick of course is how the display will behave at the hinge. Ideally it won't have a crease, and it will need to be taut when at the 180° position.


    Jesus, you’ve been popping too many of those THC gummies.
    edited February 2022 JapheyFileMakerFellerSpitbath
  • Reply 7 of 21
     So 2025 is the target year.  Now somebody has to tell Apple. 
  • Reply 8 of 21
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    I don't understand how a MacBook Pro could have a folding screen in a useful way.
    FileMakerFellerSpitbath
  • Reply 9 of 21
    tht said:
    I'm all in on foldable tablet+laptop+monitor. I would use it all modes. 

    Using a 20" 3:2 folding display, and folding it half, or unfolding it 360° from a closed clamshell position, it can act as a 13.6" 4:3 tablet. It will be heavy (3 lb) and thick (0.5"), but can be used in bed, on coach, etc, to web browse, read books, tablet-based things.

    Unfold it 180 and dock it vertically, it can act as a 20" touchscreen iMac. With a nice external display, keyboard and trackpad, you are all set for working at a desk. If you need a big drawing canvas, it can also be laid flat on a desk, and you can use a stylus to draw, take notes, diagram, etc. You can also use it as an input device, where you use a software keyboard and software trackpad to control things on an external display.

    Then, unfolded 160° to 110° (from a clamshell position), it can act as a laptop. You are using it like a laptop, with a software keyboard on one side, presumably, a purposefully heavier side. It really has to be weighted asymmetrically, with one side a lot heavier than the other for it to be stable in laptop mode.

    The big trick of course is how the display will behave at the hinge. Ideally it won't have a crease, and it will need to be taut when at the 180° position.


    I would take a 16:10 aspect ratio ~20" diagonal screen. When arranged in portrait mode (vertically), you would have something very close to two 13" diagonal screens, one above the other. For laptop mode, keep the upper half upright and place the lower half flat on your desk (or lap), and you would have something close in size to a 13" MBP for portable use. The laptop mode would use the lower half as a software keyboard/trackpad as you suggested, but still be a familiar form factor/aspect ratio.

    When open flat, I would arrange in landscape mode (horizontally, and placed on a stand), so it could act as a small 20" "iMac" with a separate bluetooth hardware keyboard/trackpad for desktop use. Again, 16:10 being a familiar screen aspect ratio. If Sidecar were supported, it could also be a monitor for another computer.

    I'm not so sure about "tablet" mode with a 20" display arranged flat...that seems large for a tablet, but Panasonic had a large 4K tablet about that size a while back, so why not...

    All this being said, I just don't see it happening though.  :|
  • Reply 10 of 21
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 2,388member
    tht said:
    I'm all in on foldable tablet+laptop+monitor. I would use it all modes. 

    Using a 20" 3:2 folding display, and folding it half, or unfolding it 360° from a closed clamshell position, it can act as a 13.6" 4:3 tablet. It will be heavy (3 lb) and thick (0.5"), but can be used in bed, on coach, etc, to web browse, read books, tablet-based things.

    Unfold it 180 and dock it vertically, it can act as a 20" touchscreen iMac. With a nice external display, keyboard and trackpad, you are all set for working at a desk. If you need a big drawing canvas, it can also be laid flat on a desk, and you can use a stylus to draw, take notes, diagram, etc. You can also use it as an input device, where you use a software keyboard and software trackpad to control things on an external display.

    Then, unfolded 160° to 110° (from a clamshell position), it can act as a laptop. You are using it like a laptop, with a software keyboard on one side, presumably, a purposefully heavier side. It really has to be weighted asymmetrically, with one side a lot heavier than the other for it to be stable in laptop mode.

    The big trick of course is how the display will behave at the hinge. Ideally it won't have a crease, and it will need to be taut when at the 180° position.


    I would take a 16:10 aspect ratio ~20" diagonal screen. When arranged in portrait mode (vertically), you would have something very close to two 13" diagonal screens, one above the other. For laptop mode, keep the upper half upright and place the lower half flat on your desk (or lap), and you would have something close in size to a 13" MBP for portable use. The laptop mode would use the lower half as a software keyboard/trackpad as you suggested, but still be a familiar form factor/aspect ratio.

    When open flat, I would arrange in landscape mode (horizontally, and placed on a stand), so it could act as a small 20" "iMac" with a separate bluetooth hardware keyboard/trackpad for desktop use. Again, 16:10 being a familiar screen aspect ratio. If Sidecar were supported, it could also be a monitor for another computer.

    I'm not so sure about "tablet" mode with a 20" display arranged flat...that seems large for a tablet, but Panasonic had a large 4K tablet about that size a while back, so why not...

    All this being said, I just don't see it happening though.  :|
    Change the aspect ratio to be more like paper scale (10:7 or 16:11.2) and the 20inch device would be A3 or double spread A4 in table mode. 
    13-14Inch A4 or double spread A5.
    a trifold A5 model would make a good iPadMini-iPhone crossover. 
  • Reply 11 of 21
    Apple will never make a folding phone. Unless they somehow manage to remove the huge amount of flaws folding phones have.
    radarthekat
  • Reply 12 of 21
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,875moderator
    I’m all for folding screens…. unless it’s a screen you would touch in any manner.  I just can’t see an iPhone with a display that’s less durable and scratch resistant than existing ion-strengthened glass displays, and I have a difficult time imagining the physics that would allow such a display to fold flat once, not to mention thousands of times.  

    I presented an idea here, years ago, that would allow two perfectly machined displays to meet at a seamless edge, with a hinge mechanism that both draws them apart when folding (so they don’t grind against one another in the process) and also provides a felt (or equivalent surface) that would step in to protect each edge when folding and would step out of the way at the very last sub-milimeter when unfolding, just as the two displays were coming together to form a single uniform flat surface.   

    The tolerances of such a movable hinge mechanism would need to be insanely precise and it would still invite dirt and particles to potentially intrude, but something like this is what it would take to create a foldable display that retained the important durability and touch-ability attributes that modern smartphone touch screens are known for and that users expect.  

    I just don’t see Apple going through that exercise unless and until there becomes a very compelling must-have case for foldable displays.  Simply making a phone half the footprint (but at the cost of being twice as thick) when folded doesn’t cut it.  At all.  
    edited February 2022
  • Reply 13 of 21
    I can see ROLLING a screen as mechanically viable. But I'm not sure if it would be commercially viable.
  • Reply 14 of 21
    There was a folding phone on display in a big-box store near me.

    I picked up the folding phone (whatever it was).   There was already some screen failure in the fold, in the form of a small pixelated-green region instead of the background white.

    Granted those display-phones probably live a short and difficult life but C'Mon Man.   

    What's the purpose?  A rectangle that doesn't fit in my jeans-pocket, that folds into a square that doesn't fit in my jeans pocket.

    I agree with others here.   Don't get the business case at all.

    Enjoy the speculation of future-folding-everything though.  Lighten-up everybody.

    I want my future eye-glasses to fold one lens over the other and become a Zoom Monocle!

    Cheers!
    edited February 2022 radarthekat
  • Reply 15 of 21
    flydogflydog Posts: 1,132member
    Folding phones. A solution in search of a problem. 
    radarthekatgephyrophobia
  • Reply 16 of 21
    I can see ROLLING a screen as mechanically viable. But I'm not sure if it would be commercially viable.
    For me personally, that would have a "cool" factor that might make it attractive.  That's just me though, because it reminds of the comm devices they used in that old "Earth: Final Conflict" series that Gene Roddenberry produced.  Always thought that would be cool.
    tht
  • Reply 17 of 21
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,875moderator
    I can see ROLLING a screen as mechanically viable. But I'm not sure if it would be commercially viable.
    For me personally, that would have a "cool" factor that might make it attractive.  That's just me though, because it reminds of the comm devices they used in that old "Earth: Final Conflict" series that Gene Roddenberry produced.  Always thought that would be cool.
    Except when you have to touch interact with it.  Then the soft plasticky feel and the susceptibility to scratches and damage would have you yearning for a rigid, non-rolling, non-folding model.  
  • Reply 18 of 21
    I can see ROLLING a screen as mechanically viable. But I'm not sure if it would be commercially viable.
    For me personally, that would have a "cool" factor that might make it attractive.  That's just me though, because it reminds of the comm devices they used in that old "Earth: Final Conflict" series that Gene Roddenberry produced.  Always thought that would be cool.
    Except when you have to touch interact with it.  Then the soft plasticky feel and the susceptibility to scratches and damage would have you yearning for a rigid, non-rolling, non-folding model.  
    Assuming Apple couldn't overcome those obstacles, I don't disagree.  I don't think Apple would bother with either a folding or rolling screen if they couldn't overcome those types of shortcomings.
  • Reply 19 of 21
    thttht Posts: 5,542member
    tht said:
    I'm all in on foldable tablet+laptop+monitor. I would use it all modes. 

    Using a 20" 3:2 folding display, and folding it half, or unfolding it 360° from a closed clamshell position, it can act as a 13.6" 4:3 tablet. It will be heavy (3 lb) and thick (0.5"), but can be used in bed, on coach, etc, to web browse, read books, tablet-based things.

    Unfold it 180 and dock it vertically, it can act as a 20" touchscreen iMac. With a nice external display, keyboard and trackpad, you are all set for working at a desk. If you need a big drawing canvas, it can also be laid flat on a desk, and you can use a stylus to draw, take notes, diagram, etc. You can also use it as an input device, where you use a software keyboard and software trackpad to control things on an external display.

    Then, unfolded 160° to 110° (from a clamshell position), it can act as a laptop. You are using it like a laptop, with a software keyboard on one side, presumably, a purposefully heavier side. It really has to be weighted asymmetrically, with one side a lot heavier than the other for it to be stable in laptop mode.

    The big trick of course is how the display will behave at the hinge. Ideally it won't have a crease, and it will need to be taut when at the 180° position.
    I would take a 16:10 aspect ratio ~20" diagonal screen. When arranged in portrait mode (vertically), you would have something very close to two 13" diagonal screens, one above the other. For laptop mode, keep the upper half upright and place the lower half flat on your desk (or lap), and you would have something close in size to a 13" MBP for portable use. The laptop mode would use the lower half as a software keyboard/trackpad as you suggested, but still be a familiar form factor/aspect ratio.

    When open flat, I would arrange in landscape mode (horizontally, and placed on a stand), so it could act as a small 20" "iMac" with a separate bluetooth hardware keyboard/trackpad for desktop use. Again, 16:10 being a familiar screen aspect ratio. If Sidecar were supported, it could also be a monitor for another computer.

    I'm not so sure about "tablet" mode with a 20" display arranged flat...that seems large for a tablet, but Panasonic had a large 4K tablet about that size a while back, so why not...

    All this being said, I just don't see it happening though.  :|
    Yes. It is wishful thinking as the technology seems so far away, and even the use cases may prove not that useful. Finger oil alone could make it all too troublesome. For me, there would need to be a fast and easy way to clean finger oils off it. Then, a 3 lb tablet on a couch or bed seems a bit daunting, less mobile. But, this could be one of those things that are slow, slow, slow, then suddenly. It's waiting on a durable, yet flexible glass that can a bend radius of around 0.3 inches. I think something like this is not too far away. Software to take advantage of all the modes will take longer.

    No problems for me with a 20" tablet flat on a table. It's something that you don't trivially use, so you make room for it, like you would with 11x17 piece of paper. Otherwise, you can fold it 360° and use half the display area if you don't have the table room. I'm intrigued with the idea of using it as an input device: software keyboard, software trackpad, and the additional display area not used by them.

    For the aspect ratio, when you fold a 16:10 in half, you end up with a 5:4 half of a screen. That is a bit tall for a laptop display. Perhaps the hinge area will be unused, so the visible, vertical half of the display will be 4:3 or 3:2, but the point of the folding display is to use everything. ;)

    A 6:4 (18:12) divided in half gets you to 4:3, the usual iPad aspect ratio. It's a compromise for all possible modes. Wide enough for an external display (180° mode) at 3:2, decent for a laptop at 4:3, and basically an iPad for a 360° mode. You are basically trading whether you want display mode being wide or laptop/tablet mode being wide.
  • Reply 20 of 21
    thttht Posts: 5,542member
    mattinoz said:
    I'd think if Apple do a folding mac like thing with a touch screen it would be a new product launch. New Name new line maybe wipe out iPadPro and MacBook over time. 

    Maybe why iPadOS has been soooooooooooooooooo.......... veeeerrrrrrrryyyyyyy slow at meeting the potential of the device. New OS that isn't macOS or iOS but the best of both and compatible if the app is best of breed and minimal legacy. 
    Doubtful that a 20" display device will come in at $1000. And, I think we'd be lucky if it starts at $2000. It's going to be a 20" OLED with a novel hinge design. $3000? As such, iPads spanning $300 to $2500 and Macs spanning $1000 to $3000 will still be around and constitute 95% of sales. 

    And yes, Apple doesn't have the same vision for iPads that some of its buyers do. Which is a shame. They really should be racing to implement all the same features seen in macOS, but in an iPadOS way.
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