Research firm IHS Markit reported today that Apple is developing a folding iPad.

Take this with a pinch of salt because current foldable smartphones crashed spectacularly, proving that foldable concepts are just that – concepts. Of course, hearing extravagant rumors about Apple is always fun and we’re not going to spoil this one for you so here it goes…

According to IHS Markit, via Economic Daily News, engineers at Apple are developing a tablet with a MacBook-size screen that would bring a new form factor representing the biggest design change to the iPad since its inception. Not only could a future iPad fold like a book but should also feature 5G connectivity. For some context, Apple is also believed to be working on a non-folding iPhone model with 5G capability for release sometime in 2020.

But 5G is beyond the point — if Apple can add 5G features to iPhones, then sure as hack it can bring 5G to the tablet. What bothers me about the report is the fact that no one credible enough in the industry is talking about foldable tablets, and for a good reason: while foldable phones may be due sooner than later, a tablet with a screen that folds in half is years away.

So why this talk about a folding iPad? And why now, I guess would be a more appropriate question? I’d say that IHS Markit probably heard that Apple is maybe testing samples of tablet-size flexible OLED panels, or something to that effect, in turn prompting them to kick off the rumor. That’s also probably why IHS Markit couldn’t provide any additional details.

Look, like any other tech giant, Apple is internally always trying out new technologies that show promise to see when they might be ready for prime time and see how various concepts could work as real products. What we shouldn’t be doing is take such rumors for granted because Apple is a company that first has to say a thousand “no’s” before a “yes”.

Of course, the IHS Markit report could as well be accurate, but that still doesn’t mean that a folding iPad will leave Apple’s design labs anytime soon and land on store shelves. For the sake of completeness, IHS Markit also reported recently that a new 16-inch model that analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has called for will feature a display resolution of 3,072×1,920 pixels.

What’s your take on this rumor?

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