Reliable analyst reveals Apple's first foldable MacBook: Price, release date, and render

foldable macbook concept
(Image credit: 9to5Mac / Future)

All MacBooks fold, but not quite like this.

Reliable industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo published a Medium post on Thursday outlining details about Apple's first folding-display MacBook, first tipped in March on X, from possible consumer prices to production schedules and expected screen sizes.

One of Kuo's post's most interesting bits of information concerns Apple's design goal for a so-called "crease-free panel," which could cause the foldable MacBook to have "very high panel and hinge costs." 

If Kuo's render of Apple's first foldable MacBook is at all accurate, it sure looks like a pricey work of art.

According to Kuo, LG Display will be the "exclusive panel supplier," with two unfolded panel sizes possible: a 20.25-inch panel or an 18.8-inch panel. Folded, the 20.25-inch panel would have a 14- or 15-inch form factor, while the folded 18.8-inch panel would translate to a 13- or 14-inch laptop. 

To design a "crease-free panel," Apple would need to develop "a high level of integration between the panel and the hinge," which is exclusively being developed by Amphenol, says Kuo. He continues, "Current preliminary estimates put the panel and hinge costs at around $600–650 and $200–250, respectively."

With such high panel and hinge costs, Kuo understandably thinks the cost of Apple's first foldable MacBook — let's call it the MacBook Fold — "could approach that of the current Vision Pro." For reference, the Vision Pro starts at $3,499.

Compared to existing foldable laptops, that price doesn't seem too unrealistic. 

Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Fold starts at $2,499, but its top-of-the-line configuration is $3,899. While this particular foldable is on par with Kuo's estimates for a Vision-Pro-priced MacBook Fold, other foldable laptops vary wildly in price.

The HP Spectre Fold retails for a whopping $4,999, while the Asus Zenbook Duo only starts at $1,499. Then, Lenovo's newest foldable, the Yoga Book 9i, starts at $1,999.

This means that Apple has a wide price range to work with to compete against existing foldable laptops.

When will Apple release the first foldable MacBook?

Past the MacBook Fold's potential price, Kuo details a "mass production schedule for the panel and assembly of 4Q25 and 1H26, respectively," earlier than the initial 2027 estimate. And despite possibly sharing a price with the Vision Pro, the MacBook Fold's "shipments are expected to be significantly higher," at over "1 million units in 2026."

Considering there's likely more consumer demand for a $3,500 dual-display MacBook than a $3,500 VR headset, it's not surprising that Apple would plan to produce that many units by 2026. 

Kuo says the MacBook Fold is "expected to use the M5 series processor," so plenty of people would likely want to upgrade for a performance boost. Honestly, if production schedules allowed, it would be a good marketing move on Apple's part to have the M5 debut in the MacBook Fold.

If you're curious about what else the company may be working on next, check out Apple's leaked road map for the period between now and 2027.