Whoa: Apple reportedly exploring 20-inch foldable MacBook

MacBook Pro 16-inch 2021 sitting on a patio table
(Image credit: Future)

Update: (May 17): In related foldable news, the iPhone Flip or other Apple folding devices could end up using an e-ink display.

Apple is reportedly exploring the idea of producing an all-screen foldable MacBook, which would be its first foray into foldables unless the so-called iPhone Flip gets here first. 

A folding MacBook might sound bizarre given Apple doesn't even make a touchscreen MacBook yet. But in a new report, reputable display analyst Ross Young claimed that Apple is working on a foldable notebook that could sport a 20-inch display.

"We are now showing Apple in our roadmap for foldable notebooks. We hear there is interest at the largest size yet," Young said.

Now we don't want to state the obvious, but for clarity, a notebook in tech terms usually refers to a rather compact laptop, hence the concept of a folding MacBook can be extracted from Young's information. 

But Young also suggested that this foldable device could form an entirely new product category for Apple. This is something Apple did with the iPad more than a decade ago. 

According to Young, the device could be introduced as a dual-use product. This means that apart from working as a fully functional notebook with an on-screen keyboard while folded, it could also turn into a monitor when unfolded and can, in theory, be paired with an external Magic Keyboard. 

Young further discussed that the 20-inch display could also mean there’s also potential for UHD/4K resolution (or even higher). However, as exciting as it may sound, it looks like we might have to wait a while: Young estimates that the launch window could fall "likely later" than 2025 and potentially anywhere between 2026 and 2027. 

Regardless, Young added that, "the fact that Apple has interest in a foldable notebook, even if it is five years away, is good news for the foldable space."

The same Display Supply Chain Consultants report also revealed that Apple's long-rumored foldable iPhone (also referred to as the iPhone Flip) could be delayed until 2025. Although Young had previously forecasted a launch in 2023 or 2024, the analyst has now changed his mind following multiple discussions with the team's supply chain contacts.

"The company does not appear to be in a hurry to enter the foldable smartphone market, and it may even take longer than that," Young added.

Nevertheless, it's too early to say if Young's statements are accurate. After all, we won't know anything for sure until we get a confirmation from Apple. However, given his proven track record and his insight in the display industry, we wouldn't dismiss his claims just yet.

Denise Primbet
News Writer

Denise is a Life Reporter at Newsweek, covering everything lifestyle-related, including health, relationships, personal finance, beauty and more. She was formerly a news writer at Tom’s Guide, regularly producing stories on all things tech, gaming software/hardware, fitness, streaming, and more. Her published content ranges from short-form news articles to long-form pieces, including reviews, buying guides, how-tos, and features. When she's not playing horror games, she can be found exploring East London with her adorable puppy. She’s also a part-time piano enthusiast and regularly experiments in the kitchen.