All-screen foldable MacBook may come in multiple sizes with M5 processor

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited May 23

After years of rumors, Apple's all-screen folding MacBook Pro may be getting closer to reality, could be offered in multiple sizes, and may arrive sooner than expected.

An image generated with AI showing a large iPad-like tablet folded in half on a desk.
A generated image of a foldable MacBook concept



The folding MacBook, which could resemble a large iPad with a foldable mid section, may be a few years away from release. Even so, Apple is preparing its supply chain for its production.

In a Thursday supply chain report from Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is considering a 20.25-inch display option. However, it may also use an 18.8-inch display panel as well.

In theory, the sizes would correspond to the equivalent physical sizing of a 13-inch and 14-inch notebook. This would give Apple two size options, matching the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro lines.

LG Display is thought to be the exclusive panel provider, with mass production scheduled for Q4 20245 and the first half of 2026. This is slightly earlier than previous 2027 predictions.

The foldable models are also expected by Kuo to use the M5 series chips.

Apple is aiming to use crease-free panels which requires a higher specification design, both for the panel and hinge mechanism. This could increase the cost for the panel and hinge to around $600 to $650 for the screen, $200 to $250 for the hinge, unless yields improve.

LGD is handling panel development duties for Apple, while Amphenol is dealing with the hinge.

With the unique display and hinge systems, the cost of the foldable MacBook to consumers could end up being very expensive. Kuo offers that the bill of materials for a foldable MacBook could reach that of the Apple Vision Pro.

Kuo adds that Apple expects shipments for the foldable MacBook to be considerably higher than the headset, possibly exceeding 1 million units in 2026.

Rumor Score: Possible

Read on AppleInsider

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 48
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,540member
    Hmmm, no thanks. Not for me. Could be good for the iPad crowd though.
    edited May 23 40domifred1
  • Reply 2 of 48
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 3,094member
    I don't get it. What is this for? Why would Apple make this? Why would people buy it?
    40domidanoxlarryadwikkqd1337bala1234rmusikantow
  • Reply 3 of 48
    mmmm..a giant version of the unpopular Touch Bar ! Great thinking! 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 4 of 48
    MisterKitMisterKit Posts: 506member
    Hard to imagine this being true. Too much of a gimmick.
    40domidwikkqd1337
  • Reply 5 of 48
    Still seems like a niche market that is much smaller than either the iPad or MacBook market. A foldable iPhone or iPad makes more sense but I am not a fan of those either but at least I can see the use case. 
    40domi
  • Reply 6 of 48
    roakeroake Posts: 818member
    One thing I worry about with this is the keyboard.  At a minimum, I would have to have haptic feedback that would fool my fingers into thinking they actually pressed keys, not just a little tap.  In my youth, I had an Atari 400 that had some flavor of touch keyboard.  The keys would click when you pressed them, but they didn’t actually move.  I hated that keyboard.  I worry this new MacBook would be a prettier version of that.

    I know we could use an external keyboard, but I travel with my current MacBook all the time.  I don’t want to have to carry an extra keyboard with me because they have decided to use an iPad keyboard on the MacBook.

    Would probably be lighter, though.
  • Reply 7 of 48
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,799member
    "with mass production scheduled for Q4 20245"

    Obviously a typo but so apt given how long the rumours have been swirling! 
    :) 
    ne140domivukasika
  • Reply 8 of 48
    The M5 "The Ultimate Computer"

    KIRK: You have already rendered one starship either dead or hopelessly crippled. Many lives were lost. 
    M5: The ships attacked this unit. This unit must survive. 
    KIRK: Why? 
    M5: This unit is the ultimate achievement in computer evolution. It will replace man, so man may achieve. Man must not risk death in space or other dangerous occupations. This unit must survive so man may be protected.
    williamlondoneightzero
  • Reply 9 of 48
    Mapple can pry my keyboard from my dead, cold hands.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 10 of 48
    40domi40domi Posts: 141member
    Not for me, niche product, can't think of what it would be useful for?
    I certainly don't believe it will be an M5
    kkqd1337williamlondon
  • Reply 11 of 48
    This is not going to happen.
    kkqd1337jas99vukasika
  • Reply 12 of 48
    danoxdanox Posts: 3,043member
    The folding screen crowd wants Apple validation and the same applies to the constant calls to add touch screen capability to Mac OS.
    williamlondonjas99vukasika
  • Reply 13 of 48
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,835member
    That would be more like a foldable iPad running Mac OS. 
  • Reply 14 of 48
    thttht Posts: 5,530member
    For my workflow, a folding OLED laptop would be great. I would be fine with a virtual keyboard and trackpad.

    19" display? Perhaps too small. Would prefer something bigger, like 22 to 24 inches diagonal.
  • Reply 15 of 48
    charlesncharlesn Posts: 906member
    FINALLY!!! The Macbook I've been dreaming about! Why have the screen and keyboard/trackpad in one compact unit when the user can carry around two separate pieces of equipment instead of one! Two separate devices to keep charged and powered! Who doesn't want that? 

    Gotta love the rumor mill promoting soon-to-be-released products nobody asked for. 
    dwijas99dewme
  • Reply 16 of 48
    thttht Posts: 5,530member
    eightzero said:
    I don't get it. What is this for? Why would Apple make this? Why would people buy it?
    The workflow I have with my MBP16 is propped up on a desk with the display open at work and at home, with an external monitor connected to it. 99% of the time, it is like that. So, a 16" monitor and a 27" monitor side by side. I have an external keyboard and mouse at both desks. I just disconnect one Thunderbolt cable, put it into a backpack, and bring it back and forth.

    With this, it means instead of a 16" monitor, it would be a 20" monitor. Would prefer it to be bigger at 22" to 24" though.

    I'm pretty adept at using my iPad's virtual keyboard and trackpad functionality, so using this foldable's virtual keyboard and trackpad in clamshell mode would be fine me for the remaining 1% that it is used that way.
    canukstormradarthekatdewme
  • Reply 17 of 48
    ... and why, again, do we need this? Macbooks use a proven 100+ year-old tactile UI (the "typewriter keyboard") and the iPad uses a touchscreen. This is a solution looking for a problem...
    jas99danox9secondkox2
  • Reply 18 of 48
    1348513485 Posts: 355member
    That would be more like a foldable iPad running Mac OS. 
    Yeah, that would be my impression. I think the keyboard will be on-device just like iPads, not with a separate physical keyboard as shown in the photo. And if it runs Mac OS it is the (allegedly) high desirable "touch Mac" that so many have posted about.
  • Reply 19 of 48
    larryalarrya Posts: 608member
    Uh, doesn’t the MacBook already fold?  I get you could temporarily have some extra screen real estate, but most of the time you’re going to have a virtual keyboard on the bottom half of this thing. 

    Expensive, niche devices are starting to become Apple’s calling card. 
    dwiwilliamlondon9secondkox2
  • Reply 20 of 48
    JoharJohar Posts: 15member
    That simply can't be true. I can't imagine Apple launching such an utterly asinine product. The only thing that will fold is this project - if it even exists.
    jas99danox9secondkox2
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