OLED iPad: Here’s everything we know

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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?

Shanghai COVID lockdowns | iPad Pro 11" and 12.9" with Magic Keyboards on a desk

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 time frame. 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…

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