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A new Rumor claims that Apple is in talks with Korean Display Makers for a Foldable Hybrid iPad-Notebook device for 2026

1 x cover foldable display for hybrid iPad tablet

Patently Apple has been covering Apple's foldable, scrollable and flexible device patents for years as our archive proves out.  Yet it took until March 2021 for an Apple patent to finally characterize one of the foldable devices as a "laptop." We began following the foldable hybrid tablet-notebook project from Intel, Samsung and Microsoft back in 2020. COVID-19 and the battered economy that ensued put the project on hold. The original project, like Microsoft's Surface Neo, was also based on two displays with a hinge in the middle. The revised project uses a large foldable tablet design.

The project is expected to get back on track sometime in late 2024 when Qualcomm's match to Apple's M3 processor, known as 'Oryon," launches in tune with Windows 12 to accommodate this new breed of device.

Not to be left behind, Apple is reportedly now in talks with display suppliers to launch a foldable MacBook model (or foldable iPad(, which is expected to rev up the sluggish display market.

BusinessKorea reports today that Apple is expected to launch a foldable laptop as soon as 2026. Apple is in talks with suppliers to launch the foldable MacBook model and plans to launch it in 2026 after taking the wraps off of it in 2025.

Korean companies are also coordinating development and production plans for foldable OLED panels for laptops in line with the opening of the foldable panel market for IT devices.

Samsung Display has decided to invest 4.1 trillion won (US$3.1 billion) to produce 8.6-generation OLED panels from 2025 to 2026. LG Display is also investing in medium-sized OLED panels, including those for tablet PCs.

In the display industry, larger sizes are bound to be more profitable, although it is more difficult to achieve high definition. Foldable displays for laptops are more profitable than foldable displays for smartphones.

However, Korean manufacturers have released the first laptops with OLED panels, but not yet any with foldable OLED panels. Samsung Electronics has only secured trademark rights for foldable laptops. For more, read the full BusinessKorea report.

Side Note: Our cover graphic is from a 2022 foldable device patent report from Apple

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