iPad mini 2021

The 2021 iPad mini (Image credit: TechRadar)

There’s been so much rumor and speculation around a potential foldable iPhone that we’d be surprised if Apple wasn’t at least exploring the idea of one – and the latest industry leak suggests this upcoming device might take the place of the iPad mini in Apple’s line-up.

This comes from analysts Omdia, via well-known tipster @Revegnus, with comments attributed to Omdia Senior Researcher Min-soo Kang stating that “this product will be positioned in the iPad mini line”.

Kang also says the foldable iPhone from Apple will be similar in size to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, which has a 7.6-inch main screen and a 6.2-inch cover display on the outside when the handset is folded shut.

According to Omdia’s information, a foldable iPhone was slated for 2026, but it’s not clear if Apple will meet that target. It also sounds as though Apple’s efforts to release under-screen camera technology, which would mean the end of the notch and the Dynamic Island, have been delayed to at least 2027.

Phone or tablet?

Apple Under-Panel Displays & Foldables News (by Omdia)Omdia’s Senior Researcher Min-soo Kang stated, “Apple has been pursuing differentiation in display design by changing the iPhone notch to a dynamic island screen and thinning the bezels.” He added, “However, the development…March 14, 2024

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Talking about this folding Apple device is tricky, because if the foldable iPhone does come in at an iPad mini size (screen size 8.3 inches, corner to corner) when it’s fully opened, you could get away with describing it both as a phone or a tablet.

In recent months, leaks have been clearly preferring the term foldable iPad, which suggests something a bit larger. Some sources have stated that a foldable iPad with a kickstand could even launch this year, while another rumor has hinted that Apple is working on a foldable MacBook too.

That said, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is clearly a phone and not a tablet, even if it does approach the size of the iPad mini when it’s opened out. Maybe we’ll have to resurrect the rather clumsy “phablet” term when the foldable iPhone/iPad appears.

A leak we saw last month put the screen size of this Apple foldable at 7.8 inches, and pointed to a release date of 2026 or 2027. According to that report, Apple itself hasn’t decided what to call the foldable yet – and as far as we know, the iPad mini 7 is still going to make an appearance.

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Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you’ll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.

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