The OLED screen supposedly coming in the 2024 iPad Pro might push the price up quite a bit. The component reportedly will cost significantly more than the one used in the current version of Apple’s high-end tablet.
If that’s the only change in the next-generation model, it’s going to be hard to justify a price hike. But there are plenty of other modifications Apple could make that would help buyers accept a $100 or more increase in the iPad Pro cost.
An OLED iPad Pro will be nice, I guess
The recently released 12.9-inch and 11-inch iPad Pro models both come with LCD displays, like their predecessors. The larger version is a mini-LED display, but it’s nevertheless LCD.
Unconfirmed reports indicate that the 2024 versions will use OLED screens, which will improve the appearance of the display, especially in direct sunlight.
How OLEDs work
With Organic Light-Emitting Diode displays, each pixel glows on its own. This leads to a bright, even image with strong contrast. These types of screens also generally use less power and are thinner. That’s why Apple puts them in most iPhones.
There’s a drawback, though. The Elec predicts that the OLED panels will cost two or three times as much as LCDs.
“Apple, LG Display, and Samsung Display are discussing the price of OLED panels for iPads scheduled to be released next year, with 11-inch models at $270 and 13-inch models at $350. The supply price of OLED panels for existing 10-inch products is around $100 to $150,” reports the Korean site (after a machine translation).
That’s a hefty jump for a questionable upgrade. No reasonable person looks at a current iPad Pro display and thinks it desperately needs improving — the screen already looks amazing. Apple apparently plans to replace amazing with astounding. But convincing consumers to put down $100 (or maybe even $200) more for that marginal of an improvement could be a stretch.
More welcome improvements
Of course, it’s quite possible OLED will be just one of multiple changes coming in the 2024 iPad Pro. Many of them are overdue, as the 2022 model is very nearly the 2021 version simply upgraded with an M2 processor.
For one, Apple reportedly will increase iPad Pro screen sizes next year. The 12.9-inch version will be released with a 13-inch screen, and the 11-inch version will move up to 11.1 inches.
There’s also a “wish list” of other improvements Apple could make. That includes moving the front-facing camera to landscape mode, adding a second USB-C port, and building in MagSafe wireless charging. An Apple M3 processor is a safe bet.
Adding any or all of these would help potential buyers consider a higher-priced iPad Pro worth the money.
2024 iPad Pro price hike might happen anyway
Even if Apple drops the whole OLED idea for the next-gen iPad Pro, a price increase is still a strong possibility.
Some people would say “of course,” but that would be a mistake. The 11-inch iPad Pro has stayed the same price since 2018. The last price increase for the 12.9-inch model was in 2021. But with inflation cutting into Apple’s profits, it’s possible the cost of the 2024 model will go up no matter what the feature set is.
The 11.1-inch version could cost $899. The 13-inch model might go for $1,199. Or even more.
Anyone looking forward to buying a new iPad Pro next year should start saving their pennies now.