Want an OLED iPad? Do not expect one before 2024

Apple’s quality standards cannot be met by Samsung’s current manufacturing process for OLED screens, and it may be 2024 until an OLED iPad arrives.

Apple will not be able to acquire OLED panels for its iPad series before 2023, making 2024 the earliest technology could hit the shelves of the company’s tablets, according to a new supply chain report. The potential upgrade of display technology, which has been rumored for over two years, would provide better color accuracy and battery life. Because organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays generate pixel-level light, each pixel can be ‘turned on’ or off as needed. Dark conditions on smaller devices with OLED screens have been shown to improve battery life, but on a screen as large as an iPad, the technology can greatly affect daily use.


Despite the long-rumored OLED technology coming to the iPad series, Apple dropped the traditional LCD screens for another technology at the company’s event in April 2021. Instead of switching to OLED, Apple offered mini-LED technology with 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The screen inside last year’s iPad Pro update, which included an M1 laptop-class processor, is a scaled-down version of the company’s Pro Display XDR. The premium desktop screen, still a small fortune years after its release, is one of the best choices on the market with a 6K resolution. When the technology was scaled down to iPads, some flaws were apparent, such as a problem with lights that flourished in local zones when the screen displayed a mix of black and white images.

Related: Is Apple lowering the price of its Pro Display XDR? Insiders say yes

A new supply chain report of The Elec confirms previous speculation that OLED iPads in the pipeline – once expected to appear in 2022 – are facing significant delays. The report claims that the manufacturing problems for OLED iPad screens are due to disagreement between Apple and Samsung. While Apple has tried to make as much of its internal components as possible, namely with the production of its internal Apple Silicon, the company has regularly outsourced to Samsung for its premium displays. Apple’s standards for OLED displays cannot be met by current Samsung production lines, so the South Korean electronics company would need a large pre-order from Apple to upgrade its factories.

Apple is looking for brighter OLED panels

Apple iPad Air 4

Apple is looking for a specific type of OLED screen for its iPad series instead of the standard design used in its iPhones and Apple Watches to increase the screen’s maximum brightness. “Apple had wanted panels with a two-stack tandem structure – where it has two emission layers – instead of the conventional single-stack structure,“says the report. Due to the current manufacturing processes used by Samsung, the price per panel would not be economically feasible for any of the companies. Without investment or a pre-order of a large number of iPad monitors from Apple, Samsung would not be able to produce an OLED iPad screen.

Although a significant order was placed on OLED screens today, it would take time for the new production equipment to be ordered, received and put into service. If an agreement is reached between Samsung and Apple, Samsung is ready to upgrade its facilities by 2023. This means that the earliest, an OLED iPad can be in the hands of consumers, is most likely mid to late 2024. The delays come at a time when Apple is expanding its mini-LED range and looking forward to the possibilities of micro-LED technologies. Apple can just jump from traditional LCD monitors to the more advanced micro-LED technology, whose progress is achieved before OLED monitors can be produced in scale.

Next: Apple may be making an Origami-inspired folding cover for your iPad

Source: The Elec

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