Apple is working on a 20-inch foldable MacBook, claims expert

A foldable MacBook would completely change the landscape for Mac as we know it

MacBook Air (M3, 2024) review
(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)
Quick summary

Apple is reportedly working on a 20.3-inch foldable MacBook, expected to enter mass production in 2027.

This would be Apple's first foldable device and could significantly change the landscape for Macs.

Apple's first foray into folding devices might not be a folding iPhone or folding iPad, but could instead be a folding Mac.

Rumours of a (very specific) 20.3-inch folding device from Apple won't go away, with a notable analyst saying that it will go into production in 2027.

Ming-Chi Kuo has a good reputation when it comes to forecasting future moves from tech brands – especially Apple. Taking to Twitter to update his followers on the situation, Kuo says that the folding MacBook is the "only foldable product with a clear development schedule."

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This isn't the first we've heard about this device. Through 2022 and 2023 there were various rumours about them. Apple wouldn't be the first brand to launch a folding laptop either: we've previously seen the likes of the Asus Zenbook 17 Fold and the HP Spectre Fold, although Apple seems to be thinking bigger than these current devices.

What a folding display means for the Apple MacBook

A folding display makes for a very different device. Rumours suggest that Apple has been looking at a device that has a 20.3-inch display when open, but 15.3-inch when "closed". That means you're getting something with the display size of a regular MacBook expanding to have a display closer to the size of the iMac.

It raises an interesting question about touch, however. Apple has so far avoided moving to touch on the MacBook, saving that for the iPad instead. As iPad and Mac get closer together in terms of intended functions, would this device limit touch, or would it forge a new case for touch across all the Mac models?

The keyboard is likely to be a separate module, just like the HP and Asus versions we've seen, able to be folded into the centre of the device and sitting over the bottom half of the display when using it like a conventional laptop. But you'd need touch to allow the device to function without that additional physical keyboard, which could indicate a change of direction across Apple's MacBook line.

We're not expecting to hear anything official on this: Apple has just announced the M3 MacBook Air - essentially the same as the previous M2 offering - and Apple's folding Mac is not expected to launch until 2027, so there's plenty of time to wait.

Chris Hall

Chris has been writing about consumer tech for over 15 years. Formerly the Editor-in-Chief of Pocket-lint, he's covered just about every product launched, witnessed the birth of Android, the evolution of 5G, and the drive towards electric cars. You name it and Chris has written about it, driven it or reviewed it. Now working as a freelance technology expert, Chris' experience sees him covering all aspects of smartphones, smart homes and anything else connected. Chris has been published in titles as diverse as Computer Active and Autocar, and regularly appears on BBC News, BBC Radio, Sky, Monocle and Times Radio. He was once even on The Apprentice... but we don't talk about that.