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OLED iPad: Here’s everything we know

After introducing iPads with LCD and miniLED display technologies over this past decade, Apple is said to be readying an OLED iPad. While other competitors already offer tablets with an OLED display, here’s why Apple is taking so long, why it’s planning to do it now, and which models will get the perfect blacks this technology features.

Why is Apple readying an OLED iPad now?

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggested that the first OLED iPad would launch in 2022 but subsequently said this plan had been abandoned. In a later report, the analyst said Apple is still expecting to launch an OLED iPad sometime in the near future.

DSCC’s Ross Young recently talked about why, after all these years, Apple decided to manufacture an OLED iPad – and the answer is pretty simple. Costs are falling. Young believes not only will the performance of OLED panels improve in the next few years thanks to tandem stacks, and phosphorescent blue emitters, but costs will also fall from larger fabs.

When should we expect an OLED iPad to be unveiled?

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According to DSCC Ross Young, Apple will focus on this kind of iPad starting in 2024. In a report from last year, The Elec said Apple is slowly transitioning through four types of display technology for its products.

It started with IPS LCD with conventional backlighting, IPS LCD with miniLED backlighting, which is now being used on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros, and, in the near future, OLED.

The report believes the first OLED iPad – and even OLED MacBook – are expected to appear around the 2023-2026 timeframe. Nowadays, 2024 seems to be the sweet spot for the iPad and 2026 for the Macs.

After this transition, Apple will finally switch to microLED:

Despite the similarity in name to miniLED, this is a completely different technology. It’s effectively a much more sophisticated version of OLED. It’s brighter, more power-efficient and doesn’t suffer from burn-in. Apple’s interest in microLED dates back to at least 2014, and while there have been some signs of progress, this tech is still at a very early stage of development. As with OLED, it’s likely to come first to the Apple Watch, then iPhone, iPad and Macs, in that order.

Which iPads will feature an OLED display?

OLED iPad rumors get credibility boost

When analyst Ming-Chi Kuo first said Apple was readying an OLED iPad, he expected the company to bring this technology to the iPad Air and then to the base model iPad, and iPad mini, since it would focus the miniLED technology on the iPad Pro.

But since DSCC Ross Young noted that this technology will advance quite a lot in the next few years – as well as get cheaper – it makes sense Apple could be readying a new generation of iPad Pro with OLED display, followed by the other iPads.

For the iPhone, for example, Apple is said to offer different kinds of OLED panels for the 14 series. The Elec reports.

Samsung Display will be applying different grades of materials on the OLED panels it will manufacture for the upcoming iPhone 14 series depending on the model tiers, TheElec has learned.

It will use its latest and most advanced material set for the higher tier iPhone 14 models while it will use its prior generation set for the lower tier ones, sources said. The move is being made to save cost, they said […]

With that in mind, it would make sense if the company follows the same trend with its entire iPad lineup.

Wrap up

We are at least a couple of years away to see Apple unveiling an OLED iPad. While the time doesn’t come, the company is expected to introduce yet another iPad Pro with miniLED technology.

Are you excited about this future iPad? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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