Apple refreshed its high-end iPad Pro back in April. This year's iPad Pro brings the power of the M1 processor, but, at the same time, propels the mini-LED display technology further. The mini-LED may be the next big thing for Apple products, but it is not going to replace OLED. Maybe that is why Apple is now likely working on its first OLED iPad. Apple's iPad Air could get an OLED first in the line and its launch may take place as early as 2023.
According to the latest quarterly OLED Shipment Report by Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) (via MacRumors), Apple will launch its first tablet with a 10.9-inch AMOLED display sometime in 2023. For Apple, OLED is not as important as other technologies, but since it is the most premium kind of display material, Apple favours the switch. The current OLED-powered devices from Apple include the iPhone, Apple Watch, and the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. A big round of rumours has time and again said that Apple is working to bring OLED to its Macs and iPads.
The DSCC report, however, refutes what some previous predictions have pointed out. According to The Elec, Apple will release a 10.8-inch iPad with an OLED display sometime in 2022. Renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, back in March, said that Apple will bring OLED panels to its iPad line next year, which is 2022. And websites such as DigiTimes and ETNews previously reported, citing supply chain sources, that the OLED iPad is likely to arrive in 2022. For now, it is a bit dicey to go with any of these predictions.
Whatever the launch timeline may be, Apple's first iPad with an OLED display is highly likely to be the iPad Air. According to Kuo, Apple will bring OLED to the iPad Air, while the iPad Pro models will continue to use mini-LED displays. Apart from Kuo, there is no other tip around the iPad Air being the first OLED model, but he has a good track record, so it makes sense to believe what he predicted.
Using an OLED panel on an iPad is going to raise the price. OLED is much more expensive than LCDs and mini-LED displays. Moreover, the iPad is a big device, because of which Apple will have to procure bigger OLED panels, unlike the small units used on the iPhone and the Apple Watch. An iPad with an OLED panel will have better contrast and brightness levels while providing deeper blacks and wider viewing angles.
There is no talk about what processor this OLED iPad would use, but given how Apple is steadily increasing the number of devices powered by its Arm processor, we might see a variant of M1 on this iPad.
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