We’ve been hearing about an OLED iPad for a long time now, and the rumors will likely continue for a while yet, with a new report suggesting we won’t see an OLED iPad until at least 2024.
While this isn’t the first we’ve heard of it that year, its persistence amid rumors and leaks lends credibility to a precise time frame. Still it looks like progress It is being done, as ETNews (opens in new tab) – which is the latest source to claim the OLED iPad will arrive in 2024 – Apple has begun producing the final prototypes of these devices.
If accurate, there’s a chance Apple will have an OLED iPad on the market before 2024, however the company is putting the unannounced device through more rigorous display tests than usual; ensuring the display technology meets your exacting quality standards.
ETNews also claims that Apple is using a dry etching process on these OLED panels to make them as thin and light as possible, which in turn should help make the iPad lighter than current models.
If you’re worried that a thin display is fragile, fear not, Apple was apparently responsible for that too; with the company said it was developing “special coatings” to increase the screen’s durability.
Those are two upgrades we might see on an OLED iPad, with another expected to improve image quality.
Analysis: Why Switch to OLED?
The ability to make the screen thinner and the device lighter isn’t the main benefit of OLED, but rather an upgrade in image quality.
ETNews mentions that image improvement is one of Apple’s areas of focus here, but doesn’t go into detail. Fortunately, there are already plenty of OLED devices on the market – including the iPhone 13 range – that give us an idea of the kinds of improvements an OLED iPad offers over existing models.
This includes a better contrast ratio, improved viewing angles and – when combined with dark wallpapers and themes – reduced battery consumption; as the pixels are illuminated individually (instead of relying on dedicated backlighting as in LCD technology).
On paper there are some advantages to using LCD over OLED technology such as better overall brightness, however in practice most of the brightest smartphone screens on the market take advantage of OLED technology.
The standout exception in the mobile space right now is the mini-LED-based panel used by the iPad Pro 12.9 (2021), which offers similar benefits to OLED but without its downsides.
That means there’s potential for Apple to continue using mini-LED displays on its best iPads, while models that currently rely on IPS LCD panels will be the ones that will benefit from an OLED upgrade.
Through MacRumors (opens in new tab)