Rumors have been circulating for several years that Apple is thinking of switching its iPad Pro tablets to OLED display technology, with the latest supply chain report saying the first of these updated devices are expected to arrive in 2024.
this is with ET news (opens in a new tab) in South Korea (ca MacRumors (opens in a new tab)), which claims that an iPad with an OLED screen is currently in development. The display divisions at Samsung and LG are apparently lined up to deliver the panels.
The current iPad Pro models feature mini-LED LCD technology: while this has a slightly higher ceiling in terms of maximum brightness compared to OLED, OLED cannot be beat in terms of contrast and deep blacks.
According to the report, the 11-inch and 12.9-inch screen sizes will remain the same once Apple makes the change, so there won’t be any obvious difference in terms of the iPad Pro’s dimensions and aspect ratios.
Apple has been using OLED technology in its iPhones for a few years now, but it’s harder and more expensive to produce panels in larger sizes – so keep an eye out for any price changes when it comes to the 2024 iPad Pros.
Previous leaks have also put the iPad Pro’s release date at some point in 2024, so that fits with that. The report says OLED technology is also being developed for Apple’s MacBook lineup, with a change scheduled for 2026.
Analysis: room for improvement
Apple refreshed its line of premium tablets again last year, and in our iPad Pro review we gave the device a near perfect score. It’s an impressive piece of hardware in every way, and it’s hard to see how Apple intends to improve it in the future.
Faster internals are always expected whenever we get a new iPad, but it could be argued that the iPad Pros are so powerful that the average user will never push them to the limit.
Software updates are also always pushed regularly, with iPadOS 16.1 adding the Stage Manager tool. However, these updates are independent of hardware issues and appear on all types of iPads, new and old.
It looks like Apple has decided that OLED technology is one of the upgrades it can invest in the iPad Pro, and possibly the standard iPad as well. After making this change, there really may not be anything left to improve.