Apple’s foldable device may use color e-ink displays — huge power savings

Apple is exploring the use of e-ink display technology for its upcoming foldable devices, equipping a potential foldable iPhone and iPad with an Electronic Paper Display (EPD) as their cover or second screen.

According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is already testing color e-ink display technology to be used as a “future foldable device’s cover screen and tablet-like applications.” This strays from the design used in Android foldables, such as Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip’s OLED cover display. However, using an e-ink display will consume less power, meaning Apple’s foldable devices could have a long battery life. 

Apple is testing E Ink’s Electronic Paper Display (EPD) for future foldable device’s cover screen & tablet-like applications. The color EPD has the potential to become a mainstream solution for foldable devices’ must-have cover/second screen thanks to its excellent power-saving.May 17, 2022

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It’s unclear if e-ink’s EPD will be used as a smaller cover display on a foldable iPhone or as a full second screen. Kuo previously predicted the Cupertino tech giant’s first foldable product will launch in 2025 “at the earliest”, stating we may not be seeing a foldable iPhone, but rather a foldable iPad or combination of the two popular devices. This could be similar in size to the 8.3-inch iPad mini, but with the folding ability of the Samsung Galaxy Fold 3. 

Apparently, Apple is “actively testing” a foldable nine-inch OLED device with pixel per inch (PPI) between an iPhone and iPad. This means we could see a combination of an OLED display and a second color e-ink display.

Apple’s first foldable product has been up in the air, as previous reports indicated we would see an iPhone Fold of sorts in 2023. This has now been pushed back, and Kuo believes it may not be as simple as just a foldable iPhone. Back in February, oft-reliable Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) CEO Ross Young claimed we could see a 20-inch all-screen foldable MacBook — being able to function like a MacBook with an on-screen keyboard when folded, and like an iMac monitor when unfolded.

Young also states we may not see Apple’s foldable device until 2025, so we have a while to go until we see anything official. Speaking of foldables, what happened to the Google Pixel Fold? And is HP gearing up to showcase a 17-inch foldable OLED laptop? Stay tuned for more. 

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