New leak got me thinking about Apple's foldable iPhone-iPad hybrid I've always wanted, and we'll never get

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
New leak got me thinking about Apple's foldable iPhone-iPad hybrid I've always wanted, and we'll nev
Being an iPad enthusiast has had its ups and downs over the recent years. First it looked like the iPad was forever going to be just a big iPhone, meant for video consumption and basic web browsing. But Apple did a plot twist and actually gave it the kinds of power user features I always wanted.

All of the sudden we got mouse support, first party keyboards with trackpads, and powerful multitasking with true external display support. Cherry on top – we actually got iPad versions of powerful MacOS productivity apps, such as Logic Pro and Final Cut Pro.

We'll talk about what my dream iPad would be in a moment, but first, let's see what we actually expect in the coming days, in terms of iPad updates.

New iPads coming soon, fixing minor, but glaring issues. Surprise new accessories too?

So this year Apple didn't have a big March event featuring a ton of new product updates, but quietly announced new MacBooks via a press release. We expect the same thing, but for iPads, in the coming days; likely by the end of the month.

And those new iPads are rumored to include a bigger-than-usual iPad Air model, a significantly thinner iPad Pro, and a new iPad mini, all with upgraded processors. Hopefully at least some of those new models will finally have their FaceTime camera in the right spot, which means centered in the top bezel, when in landscape orientation.

Of course, Apple has had trouble putting that front iPad camera in there, due to the Apple Pencil magnetic charging dock taking up internal space in that same spot, but some leakers suggest that a workaround has been figured out.

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Speaking of the Apple Pencil, we've also heard rumors of a new Apple Pencil 3, which I'm a bit skeptical of, and don't see the point in. Another new accessory we might get is a new, redesigned Magic Keyboard for iPad, supposedly partially or fully aluminum this time.

Now that I'm really hoping for! A bigger trackpad, and a more durable material than the current Magic Keyboard (which in my experience scuffs up a bit too easily)? I'm sold!

So that's what we expect to be coming in the near future. Good stuff, enough to get the excitement going, especially if Apple throws in some iPadOS upgrades in the mix too. Even though a new iPadOS version won't be out to the public until September.

Now let's get onto the one next-level iPad update I really want to see in the next year or two, and why I think it's entirely possible…

Leaks suggest Apple is still working on folding iPhones and iPads; here's what I want out of this, and why it would be awesome…

A recent report coming from The Information (via The Verge) claims that Apple continues quietly working on two folding (clamshell) iPhone designs, and at least one folding iPad design, possibly the size of an iPad mini.

Now those two iPhone designs are both said to resemble the Galaxy Z Flip, meaning they're both flip phones meant to fit in small pockets, with a small external display, and a folding inner display. No Z Fold-like iPhone is mentioned.

However, a Galaxy Z Fold-like iPad is plausible, and in my opinion, would be fantastic.

As a dedicated iPad user who's been doing legitimate professional work on iPads for years, including writing, music production, and video editing, I'm very happy with the iPad's direction so far.

It's turning into a competent MacBook alternative, doing things its own way, but still well capable of desktop-grade multitasking, and more than suitable for professional work.

In my overly-optimistic opinion, a great next step in this iPad evolution would be a folding iPad. But not just that – an iPad that folds into an iPhone.

Picture an Apple version of something akin to the Google Pixel Fold. A fairly normal iPhone when closed, but it can turn into an iPad when unfolded. A productivity beast in your pocket, that does absolutely everything you need – it's a phone, it's a tablet, it's a computer.

Like the Galaxy Z Fold 5, but more refined, and due to it running iPadOS – with far more polished professional apps.

Something you can actually make calls with, but also go to the office, unfold, and use as an iPad. Or plug into a monitor – and use as a desktop iPadOS computer.

Right now, this is my dream device, and we know for a fact that Apple is well capable of doing it. From what we've heard, the trillion dollar company has been secretly experimenting with folding devices for years now. It's not too unreasonable to expect a folding Apple surprise in a year or two, when it deems folding technology to be good enough for an iPhone, or an iPad.

However, deep down I know that the exact thing I described, namely an iPhone that unfolds into an iPad, will never happen, because Apple… is Apple.

We have a pretty good idea of how it operates, and how much it wants to avoid releasing products that cannibalize other Apple products. No way in a million years will Apple release an iPad that cannibalizes both the iPhone and the MacBook. In the world of a profit-driven trillion dollar company, this is a bad idea.

Sucks for us, the consumers, that Apple isn't more like Samsung – willing to throw everything at the wall and not worrying about segregating its products, but that's the world we live in.

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a… dream. An unrealistic one, but hey…

On a much more positive note, the iPad did actually evolve significantly this year, even if you didn't notice it. Its operating system – iPadOS – became the basis of the Apple Vision Pro headset's operating system – visionOS. Just like the iPhone's iOS was the basis for iPadOS.

The iPad has now branched into two pieces of hardware – the slab tablet we know and love, and an AR/VR headset, that might just be the form factor of the future. iPadOS' successor, visionOS, might just be the operating system of the future.

There's a chance that Apple skips over folding devices entirely, and focuses only on producing thinner, more affordable headsets, and eventually – smart glasses.

I'll be honest, as a regular AR/VR headset user, and as much as I love what they're capable of, I'd definitely miss holding a physical tablet in the future we may be heading towards.

And I'm not really rushing to live in that future. To be fair – the technology isn't going to go there too fast either.

In the meantime, I'll keep hoping Apple doesn't skip its foldable phase and releases a folding iPad, along with a Z Flip-like folding iPhone. And maybe, just maybe, if the stars align and pigs start flying, that iPad will be the exact iPhone-iPad hybrid I've been wishing for.

Now's a good time for you to share your dream devices – what would you like to see from your favorite company? Whether it's Apple or Samsung, or any other, we know they're all experimenting with AR/VR headsets, foldable devices, smart rings, and all sorts of quirky new things. Anything you can imagine has likely been developed to an extent, if not released. What would you like to see that doesn't exist on the market yet?

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