According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is exploring the use of color e-ink displays for its future products. Kuo says that color e-ink is particularly well suited to enabling a low-power second screen experience for a foldable form factor device.
Of course, Apple does not currently make a foldable although there have been ongoing rumors that the company is considering designs for a foldable iPad.
Back in February, both display analyst Ross Young and Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman referenced a 20-inch folding MacBook/iPad design apparently in development.
What Kuo seems to be suggesting is that e-ink would serve as the outward-facing display, providing a low-power accessory screen experience for users, who want to get some utility out of their foldable without having to unfold it.
The choice of e-ink would be an interesting deviation from the direction of the Android foldable market.
For instance, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold features a 6.2-inch AMOLED cover display, which makes the device look almost like a standard phone in closed operation. The user can unfold the device to reveal the flexible 7.6-inch main screen inside.
The Galaxy Z Flip features a very small 1.9-inch OLED cover screen, which acts as a simple readout for the time and notifications display. This could easily be imagined as a color e-ink surface though, extending battery life significantly as e-ink do not consume power for static content.
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