Next iPad Pro refresh could finally bring OLED displays | Cult of Mac

Next iPad Pro refresh could finally bring OLED displays

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Here's more proof iPad will get gorgeous OLED screens
Will an OLED iPad finally arrive in 2024?
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple could switch to OLED display panels on the 2024 iPad Pro lineup, according to display expert Ross Young. The DSCC analyst accurately predicted that the M2 11-inch iPad Pro would continue using an LCD panel.

Apple switched to a mini-LED panel on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro with the 2021 refresh. While it brings a noticeable leap in image quality, the panel is only available on the bigger model.

2024 iPad Pro might ditch mini-LED display

Apple is seemingly not using mini-LED panels on the 11-inch iPad Pro due to heating and battery life issues. This could explain why the company has continued using LCD panels on the smaller iPad Pro.

With the next iPad Pro refresh, due in spring 2024, Young predicts Apple will switch to OLED panels to eliminate this feature discrepancy between the two iPad Pro models. In response to a tweet, the analyst said “OLEDs are getting a lot better for IT applications,” which is perhaps why Apple is considering changing its strategy. Previous reports also indicated the 2024 iPad could feature OLED panels.

OLED panels can reach higher brightness levels

Samsung already uses OLED panels on its high-end Galaxy tablets. This indicates that the technology is ready for use in devices with a tablet form factor, though there are mass production and cost challenges. As the technology matures and demand increases, the production cost should drop, leading to wider adoption.

Compared to mini-LED, OLED panels are thinner and more power-efficient. Additionally, they are capable of reaching higher brightness levels. Ross thinks Apple will use OLED panels with a two-stack tandem structure for increased brightness.

Besides the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, Apple uses mini-LED display technology on the 2021 MacBook Pro and the Pro Display XDR. Apple is also reportedly working on a 27-inch mini-LED external display with ProMotion support.