Normally trustworthy sources estimate that the iPad will see few or no significant updates in 2023. Ming-Chi Kuo, a supply-chain expert, says Apple is developing a foldable iPad with a built-in kickstand for release next year, as well as a new version of the iPad mini for early 2024.
The source of Kuo’s information appears to be a Hong Kong-based business called Anije Technology, which is believed to be “a polishing and bonding supplier for the foldable iPad’s carbon fibre kickstand.”
A folding iPad with a kickstand (presumably in the iPad Pro series, given Apple tends to introduce new designs and screen technologies there) would be a combination of new and classic tablet concepts. Some smartphones and tablets feature foldable screens, but they are still uncommon and pricey, and Apple has not yet incorporated them into its products. Microsoft’s Surface tablets have incorporated a built-in kickstand for more than a decade, whereas Apple has depended on a series of increasingly pricey keyboard cases and stands to prop up the iPad Pro.
Foldable screens enable businesses to send larger tablets that fold down to a manageable size for transport and storage. Various rumours (gathered here by MacRumors) indicate that Apple has previously worked on 14- to 16-inch iPads, but the 12.9-inch iPad Pro remains Apple’s largest tablet to date.
Kuo is frequently accurate in predicting Apple’s design direction, typically by observing the behaviour of the company’s overseas suppliers. However, his estimates may be off by one or two product generations due to Apple’s ability to alter its mind about future products due to supply chain or production issues. Another expert who follows Apple’s display technology, Ross Young, said he was aware of “several” iPads with new OLED panels slated for 2024, but not a foldable model. Mark Gurman of Bloomberg states the same.