Folding MacBook rumors spread

Apple's way is to avoid cutting edge technology until it's reliable to use, manufacture and profit from. Are folding displays there yet? Ming Chi-Kuo, a supply chain analyst, stuck out his neck to claim they're coming to the MacBook in 2026, along with the M5 chips and absolutely enormous price tags.

Panel supplier and possible size spec: LGD is the exclusive panel supplier. In addition to the 20.25" option, Apple is also considering using an 18.8" panel instead. The difference between these two sizes is their folded form factor, corresponding to the design of 14–15" and 13–14" laptops, respectively. Production schedule and processor: The target mass production schedule for the panel and assembly is 4Q25 and 1H26, respectively (compared to the previous estimate of 2027). This product is expected to use the M5 series processor. Crease-free panel as a design goal, resulting in very high panel and hinge costs: Apple aims to make the panel as crease-free as possible, requiring high design specifications for both the panel and the hinge. As a result, the cost of the panel and hinge is very high. Current preliminary estimates put the panel and hinge costs at around $600–650 and $200–250, respectively. If production yields improve significantly by the time of mass production, these costs could decrease.

I know it was years ago now, but the first-gen folding displays were such total lemons I will never buy one until not buying one becomes inconvenient. I just sat there listening to them quietly crinkle, thinking "I bet these don't last six months," and then the reviews went live and half of the testers wrote "this didn't last six days." Nonetheless, here's analysis of the analysis from Gizmodo's Kyle Barr, who points out Apple has been patenting related technologies and is likely looking for ways to innovate the line.

The US Patent & Trademark Office granted the company patents on a foldable phone with a waterfall screen design and a foldable device with a display with "self-healing" properties. That patent mentioned phones, but it also foldable tablets and laptops as well.

Apple's laptop sales lagged last year and only grew marginally at the start of this year. According to the Cupertino tech giant's latest financial report, iPhone sales were also down overall. It makes some sense that Apple would move up the time tables on new, more innovative MacBooks.

I could imagine iPads or iPhones, or even to implement a new Touch Bar that's contiguous with the "main" part of the display, but covering the whole usable surface of the laptop as implied by the panel size? One of the traditional shibboleths of supple chain analysts and "Apple is making a television!"-tier corporate analysts is they're blind to UX things that matter a lot to Apple. I would run into these guys well into the 2010s and they'd still be on their Blackberry Bolds. Pureblooded creatures of polyester and email with no personal connection at all to how people use the things they wrote about.

Previously: Folding iPhone claimed for 2022.