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Some next-gen iPad models may adopt OLED displays starting next year

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7 min read
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  • Apple may bring OLED display technology to "some" iPad models next year, according to a new report from Korea's ETNews.
  • The report from ETNews doesn't specify which ‌iPad‌ models would make the switch from LCD to OLED technology.
  • Additionally, new models of the MacBook Pro may launch with mini-LED displays as early as this year, according to new reports.

Apple may bring OLED display technology to "some" iPad models next year, according to a new report from Korea's ETNews. This follows the recent adoption of mini-LED technology in the company’s 12.9-inch 2021 iPad Pro.

The report from ETNews doesn't specify which ‌iPad‌ models would make the switch from LCD to OLED technology — however, credible Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (reliability: 80.95%) recently reported that the mid-range iPad Air will include an OLED display next year at minimum. Back in 2017, Apple implemented OLED display technology for the first time in its iPhone lineup, along with their Apple Watch models — which already featured OLED displays ever since the first iteration. While the adoption of OLED now seems to be the display standard for the company, some product categories continue to use LCD display technology. With the introduction of mini-LED on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro earlier this year, Apple is now expected to continue the adoption trend of mini-LED display technology with new models of the MacBook Pro later in 2021.

OLED panels offer several advantages over mini-LED, one of them being the cost per unit. Unlike the iPhone, in which Apple uses a custom OLED panel that gets folded at the bottom, the OLED displays the company may adopt in its iPad models are expected to be flat. This means that the cost for the new panels will be close to what Apple currently pays for each LCD panel used in the iPad Air. OLED also offers deeper blacks, more pixel-precision brightness and higher contrast ratio as compared to mini-LED, since each pixel has its own light which can be individually controlled. This thereby results in much less blooming when compared to mini-LED.

However, some analysts claim that Apple has no plans to bring OLED to its productivity devices because of burn-in concerns, which may be more noticeable by users who work with the same software for hours. However, it’s important to note that this report is not the only one to make claims about an OLED iPad arriving in the future — in March, supply chain sources said that the first OLED iPad will ship in early 2022, taking the form of a new 10.9-inch model. Another report from November 2020 stated that an OLED iPad would appear in late 2021. However, with Apple's successful adoption of mini-LED backlighting in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, it seems more likely that Apple will use the technique in other displays rather than changing the core technology in use.



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