It’s been rumored for several years that Apple is thinking of switching its iPad Pro tablets to OLED display technology, and the latest supply chain report says the first of these updated devices will arrive in 2024.
This is from ET News (opens in a new tab) in South Korea (via MacRumors (opens in a new tab)), which claims that an iPad with an OLED display is now in development. The display departments of Samsung and LG are apparently in line to provide the panels.
Current iPad Pro models feature mini-LED LCD technology: while it has a slightly higher ceiling in terms of maximum brightness compared to OLED, OLED can’t be beaten in terms of contrast and the depth of its blacks.
According to the report, the 11-inch and 12.9-inch screen sizes will remain the same when Apple makes the switch, so in terms of the iPad Pro’s dimensions and form factors there won’t be any obvious difference.
Apple has used OLED technology in its iPhones for a number of years, but it’s harder and more expensive to produce the panels in larger sizes, so keep an eye out for any price variances when it comes to 2024 iPad Pros.
Previous leaks had also put the release date for an iPad Pro at some point in 2024, so this falls in line with that. OLED technology is also in the works for Apple’s MacBook lineup, the report says, with the switch scheduled for 2026.
Analysis: room for improvement
Apple refreshed its premium tablet lineup again last year, and in our iPad Pro review we gave the device a near-perfect score. It’s an impressive piece of hardware from almost every angle, and it’s hard to see how Apple will improve in the future.
Faster internals are always expected every time we get a new iPad, but it could be argued that the iPad Pros are so powerful that the average user will never take them anywhere near their limit.
Software updates are also released regularly, with iPadOS 16.1 adding the Stage Manager tool. However, these updates are independent of hardware considerations and appear on all types of iPads, new and old.
It would seem Apple has decided that OLED technology is an upgrade it can invest in for iPad Pros, and perhaps eventually the standard iPad as well. Once that change is made, there may be nothing more to improve.