Apple first introduced OLED screens in the iPhone X in 2017, and later in the first Apple Watch. It has been slow to adopt OLED technology in other products, such as iMacs, MacBooks, standalone displays, and iPads. The discontinuation of the Touch Bar has left some wondering about Apple’s reluctance to make the switch to OLED across its product line. However, rumors suggest that the iPad Pro may be the next platform to receive the OLED treatment.
The limitations of LCD technology are felt most acutely in the 11-inch iPad Pro, where off-axis viewing results in a noticeable decrease in brightness. While this is also true for laptops, the issue is less prominent due to the user typically sitting directly in front of the screen. For tasks such as browsing the web, the limitations of an LCD are less noticeable. However, issues with contrast become apparent when watching movies or playing games, where the deep blacks and enhanced contrast of OLED would provide a more immersive experience. Additionally, OLED technology could enable an always-on display for the iPad, unlocking new features such as a smart display mode.
The potential introduction of an OLED display on the next iPad Pro has the writer excited, as it could bring a range of benefits beyond just a better screen. Using the technology behind iPhone’s StandBy mode, the iPad could be transformed into a smart display, creating a new niche for the device. If the next iPad Pro is indeed equipped with an OLED display, the writer states that they would be willing to sell their current M1 iPad Pro immediately to make the switch.
Recent reports suggest that Apple is planning to release a new OLED iPad Pro next year. Mark Gurman, in a subscriber Q&A section of Bloomberg’s “Power On” newsletter, affirmed that Apple is working on a new 11-inch and 13-inch OLED iPad Pro, calling it the “first major overhaul in half a decade”. This aligns with earlier rumors that have hinted at the introduction of OLED technology in the next iPad Pro.
The speculation regarding the new iPad Pro gained further support from Ming-Chi Kuo who stated, in a Medium post, that Apple is planning to mass-produce two OLED iPads using the same LTPO technology found in Apple Watches and newer iPhones. Kuo claims that these new iPads will outperform the Mini LED iPad Pro in terms of display performance and power consumption.
It is clear from these reports that there is a strong possibility of Apple introducing OLED technology to its iPad line, which could significantly enhance the user experience. The potential for an always-on display and improved contrast and brightness, especially for gaming and watching movies, makes OLED an attractive prospect for the next generation of iPad Pro. As we move towards 2024, it will be interesting to see how Apple implements OLED across its product line and the impact it has on the overall user experience.