Apple is currently considering the release of a foldable device ranging from 7.8 to 8 inches. If launched, it’s expected to hit the market as early as 2026-2027. This potential device could serve as Apple’s inaugural entry into the foldable market, possibly replacing the 8.3-inch iPad Mini. However, as Apple concurrently develops OLED technology for the iPad Mini, specifics regarding the nature and specifications of the 7.8 to 8-inch foldable device remain undetermined.
Notably, Samsung Display and LG Display have already supplied Apple with foldable panel samples, one in the 6-7-inch range and the other in the 7-inch range.
Industry observers speculate on whether this potential Apple foldable device will be an iPhone or an iPad model. The final decision on its characteristics and specifications is yet to be determined.
The concept behind the 7.8 to 8-inch Apple foldable device includes the idea of replacing the 8.3-inch iPad Mini, known for being the smallest among the iPad series models. The other iPad models range from 10.2 inches (9th generation) to 12.9 inches (Pro). This year, the 11.0-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models will see the OLED panels for the first time.
Conversely, there are opposing views suggesting that the 7.8 to 8-inch Apple foldable device may not necessarily replace the iPad Mini, given Apple’s ongoing OLED development project for the iPad Mini.
Among panel suppliers, Samsung Display is reported to be more actively engaged in Apple’s foldable panel development compared to LG Display. If mass production is confirmed, Samsung Display is expected to manufacture the foldable panels from either the 6th generation A3 or A4 OLED lines, known for producing OLED screens for iPhones.
If Apple decides to mass-produce the 7.8 to 8-inch foldable panels in 2026, Samsung Display is anticipated to be the primary supplier initially. This is attributed to Samsung Display’s experience in supplying foldable phone panels to Samsung Electronics since 2019. LG Display, starting Apple foldable panel production a year later than Samsung Display, may face challenges in catching up.
However, as Apple’s foldable device specifications are yet to be finalized, there’s speculation that LG Display might also be involved in panel production alongside Samsung Display. This is based on the assumption that Apple won’t exclusively collaborate with one supplier for foldable panel development.