Apple preparing iPad Pro models with OLED displays for second half of 2021

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple reportedly plans to swap the LCD displays on its iPad Pro models for OLED panels produced by Samsung and LG sometime in 2021.

Credit: Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider
Credit: Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider


The company is rumored to be preparing a new iPad Pro model with mini LED backlighting for release in early 2021. But a report from Korea-based publication TheElec suggests that some models in the 2021 iPad Pro lineup could also adopt OLED display technology.

According to the publication, Samsung Display and LG Display are currently developing new OLED panels for the tablets. Unlike a mini LED model, these OLED-equipped iPad Pro models are reportedly slated for a launch in the second half of 2021.

TheElec reports that Apple's plan to release OLED iPad Pro models could be delayed depending on the scale of adoption of LCD displays with mini LED backlighting, however.

Those OLED displays will be produced according to higher specifications than the OLED screens on Apple's iPhone lineup. That could be to mitigate some of the issues with OLED use on tablets. Because tablets are typically used longer, OLED panels with just one emitting layer could suffer from burn-in or loss of brightness over time.

Samsung Display, for example, was said to be adding a distribution chamber to one of its OLED production lines that would be able to stack emitting layers on top of each other. The result would be an OLED panel with a longer lifespan compared to ones that use just one layer.

Although Apple is largely expected to release at least one mini LED iPad Pro model in 2021, it isn't clear how this rumor of OLED-equipped devices fits in. The Cupertino tech giant may have changed its plans, or it could be planning to release a mini LED model early in 2021 with OLED devices coming later that year.

OLED and mini LED technology have many of the same benefits over traditional LCD displays, including better power efficiency, higher levels of brightness, and improved contrast ratios.

In addition to new display technology, Apple is rumored to introduce 5G wireless connectivity on its iPad Pro models in 2021.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,990member

    Or TheElec might have just made up something to get web hits. To me it seems like an odd choice.

    The Cupertino tech giant may have changed its plans, or it could be planning to release a mini LED model early in 2021 with OLED devices coming later that year.

    edited November 2020 SpamSandwichwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 15
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,235member
    As I’m going to get another iPad Pro 12.9” when it comes out, and for the first time my wife wants a new one rather than insisting on getting my old one, this is annoying. Personally, I’d rather they did one or the other next year. I’ll be happy with mini LCD. Replace that with OLED in 2022, or just come out with that next year, if it’s ready. A big question though is whether it will be capable of 120Hz ProMotion, as OLEDs have a problem with that.
    edited November 2020 watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 15
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,564member
    melgross said:
    As I’m going to get another iPad Pro 12.9” when it comes out, and for the first time my wife wants a new one rather than insisting on getting my old one, this is annoying. Personally, I’d rather they did one or the other next year. I’ll be happy with mini LCD. Replace that with OLED in 2022, or just come out with that next year, if it’s ready. A big question though is whether it will be capable of 120Hz ProMotion, as OLEDs have a problem with that.

    This is why this rumor is bunk. 120Hz ProMotion OLED displays that size would be EXPENSIVE!!!


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 15
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,235member
    mjtomlin said:
    melgross said:
    As I’m going to get another iPad Pro 12.9” when it comes out, and for the first time my wife wants a new one rather than insisting on getting my old one, this is annoying. Personally, I’d rather they did one or the other next year. I’ll be happy with mini LCD. Replace that with OLED in 2022, or just come out with that next year, if it’s ready. A big question though is whether it will be capable of 120Hz ProMotion, as OLEDs have a problem with that.

    This is why this rumor is bunk. 120Hz ProMotion OLED displays that size would be EXPENSIVE!!!


    They probably would be. The reason I see as to why Apple doesn’t have 120 on the iPhone is because Samsung can’t make enough of these low power screens for Apple’s needs. It’s kind of bittersweet, because Apple invented those low power OLED screens, and everyone else is using them except Apple so far.
    edited November 2020 tmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 15
    ne1ne1 Posts: 67member
    melgross said:
    mjtomlin said:
    melgross said:
    As I’m going to get another iPad Pro 12.9” when it comes out, and for the first time my wife wants a new one rather than insisting on getting my old one, this is annoying. Personally, I’d rather they did one or the other next year. I’ll be happy with mini LCD. Replace that with OLED in 2022, or just come out with that next year, if it’s ready. A big question though is whether it will be capable of 120Hz ProMotion, as OLEDs have a problem with that.

    This is why this rumor is bunk. 120Hz ProMotion OLED displays that size would be EXPENSIVE!!!


    They probably would be. The reason I see as to why Apple doesn’t have 120 on the iPhone is because Samsung can’t make enough of these low power screens for Apple’s needs. It’s kind of bittersweet, because Apple invented those low power OLED screens, and everyone else is using them except Apple so far.
    What did Apple invent them for? The iPhone X?
  • Reply 6 of 15
    flydogflydog Posts: 1,093member
    mjtomlin said:
    melgross said:
    As I’m going to get another iPad Pro 12.9” when it comes out, and for the first time my wife wants a new one rather than insisting on getting my old one, this is annoying. Personally, I’d rather they did one or the other next year. I’ll be happy with mini LCD. Replace that with OLED in 2022, or just come out with that next year, if it’s ready. A big question though is whether it will be capable of 120Hz ProMotion, as OLEDs have a problem with that.

    This is why this rumor is bunk. 120Hz ProMotion OLED displays that size would be EXPENSIVE!!!


    Not seeing how the fact that a component is expensive means that it will not be incorporated, especially since this could be a year out. 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 15
    Love my iPad Pro (the current model 12.9) and have owned every generation of the iPad Pro, but will be looking at Wi-Fi/Cellular next time. So I will be interested to see what type of cell radio is offered with the next cycle.

    What I would like to see offered at some point is the ability to make your IPad (and watch) your Phone and dispense with the iPhone completely. Doubt Apple would do that, but an Apple Watch (w Cellular) IPad Pro (w Cellular) combo kind of negates the need for the iPhone completely. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 15
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    Apple needs to do something to distinguish the iPad Pro from the new iPad Air which carries many of the pro's features.

    Right now, unless you want the larger 13" model, the Air sounds like its the better choice:  lower price / more power.

    Another thing Apple might do is stick the M1 processor into the Pro.   Now that would be interesting.
  • Reply 9 of 15
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,716member
    Apple needs to do something to distinguish the iPad Pro from the new iPad Air which carries many of the pro's features.

    Right now, unless you want the larger 13" model, the Air sounds like its the better choice:  lower price / more power.

    Another thing Apple might do is stick the M1 processor into the Pro.   Now that would be interesting.
    No, Apple will not be installing the M1 in an iPad. The M Series is designed specifically for the Mac product line.

    In lieu of that, Apple will likely have a 14X for the next iPad Pro models.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 15
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,235member
    ne1 said:
    melgross said:
    mjtomlin said:
    melgross said:
    As I’m going to get another iPad Pro 12.9” when it comes out, and for the first time my wife wants a new one rather than insisting on getting my old one, this is annoying. Personally, I’d rather they did one or the other next year. I’ll be happy with mini LCD. Replace that with OLED in 2022, or just come out with that next year, if it’s ready. A big question though is whether it will be capable of 120Hz ProMotion, as OLEDs have a problem with that.

    This is why this rumor is bunk. 120Hz ProMotion OLED displays that size would be EXPENSIVE!!!


    They probably would be. The reason I see as to why Apple doesn’t have 120 on the iPhone is because Samsung can’t make enough of these low power screens for Apple’s needs. It’s kind of bittersweet, because Apple invented those low power OLED screens, and everyone else is using them except Apple so far.
    What did Apple invent them for? The iPhone X?
    I guess that it was first for the Watch, where it was first used. It seems that Apple wanted these, but they sell so many high end phones that Samsung just couldn’t do enough. Which phone Apple intended it for, I can’t say. They could do it if they went back to LCD, but we all know that ain’t gonna happen.
  • Reply 11 of 15
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,235member

    Apple needs to do something to distinguish the iPad Pro from the new iPad Air which carries many of the pro's features.

    Right now, unless you want the larger 13" model, the Air sounds like its the better choice:  lower price / more power.

    Another thing Apple might do is stick the M1 processor into the Pro.   Now that would be interesting.
    No, never gonna happen, but it’s now possible that we may get, with an A14x, one USB 4/Thunderbolt port. I’m reading somewhat contradictory information. One is that there is one TB controller in the M1 with two TB ports, which is the way these controllers normally work. The other is that there are two controllers, each with just one TB port. Both sides insist their info is correct.

    if the former is true, Apple could include it and just use one port. If the latter is correct, they could use it as is.

    we would all jump hoops to get two TB ports. That would be great on its own, but with the Magic Keyboard’s charging port, it would be fantastic, but it’s likely too much to expect.

    I really don’t see why we couldn’t get one though. Considering that the new computers each have two, this wouldn’t be taking much away from them.

    we can always hope, right?
    edited November 2020 watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 15
    melgross said:

    Apple needs to do something to distinguish the iPad Pro from the new iPad Air which carries many of the pro's features.

    Right now, unless you want the larger 13" model, the Air sounds like its the better choice:  lower price / more power.

    Another thing Apple might do is stick the M1 processor into the Pro.   Now that would be interesting.
    No, never gonna happen, but it’s now possible that we may get, with an A14x, one USB 4/Thunderbolt port. I’m reading somewhat contradictory information. One is that there is one TB controller in the M1 with two TB ports, which is the way these controllers normally work. The other is that there are two controllers, each with just one TB port. Both sides insist their info is correct.

    if the former is true, Apple could include it and just use one port. If the latter is correct, they could use it as is.

    we would all jump hoops to get two TB ports. That would be great on its own, but with the Magic Keyboard’s charging port, it would be fantastic, but it’s likely too much to expect.

    I really don’t see why we couldn’t get one though. Considering that the new computers each have two, this wouldn’t be taking much away from them.

    we can always hope, right?
    OK....  Got it....  But, like the 6 year old I'll ask:   "Why daddy?   Why not?"

    The limitations used to be::
    --  Size
    --  Thermal constraints
    --  Power

    While I tend to agree that we won't see an M1 per se in an iPad, I can see them merging closer and closer together.

    My bet is that the split, the differentiation will not be based on form factor but on functionality -- where, the iPad will remain more graphically oriented while the Macs will remain solidly implanted in the world of word processing and the like (not restricted to only those things but having them as a primary function).

  • Reply 13 of 15
    melgross said:

    Apple needs to do something to distinguish the iPad Pro from the new iPad Air which carries many of the pro's features.

    Right now, unless you want the larger 13" model, the Air sounds like its the better choice:  lower price / more power.

    Another thing Apple might do is stick the M1 processor into the Pro.   Now that would be interesting.
    No, never gonna happen, but it’s now possible that we may get, with an A14x, one USB 4/Thunderbolt port. I’m reading somewhat contradictory information. One is that there is one TB controller in the M1 with two TB ports, which is the way these controllers normally work. The other is that there are two controllers, each with just one TB port. Both sides insist their info is correct.

    if the former is true, Apple could include it and just use one port. If the latter is correct, they could use it as is.

    we would all jump hoops to get two TB ports. That would be great on its own, but with the Magic Keyboard’s charging port, it would be fantastic, but it’s likely too much to expect.

    I really don’t see why we couldn’t get one though. Considering that the new computers each have two, this wouldn’t be taking much away from them.

    we can always hope, right?

    OK....  Got it....  But, like the 6 year old I'll ask:   "Why daddy?   Why not?"

    The limitations used to be::
    --  Size
    --  Thermal constraints
    --  Power

    While I tend to agree that we won't see an M1 per se in an iPad, I can see them merging closer and closer together.

    My bet is that the split, the differentiation will not be based on form factor but on functionality -- where, the iPad will remain more graphically oriented while the Macs will remain more oriented to the world of word processing, file mamangement and the like (not restricted to only those things but having them as a primary function).

    But then, we get to the world of the 2 in 1's where Apple has some catching up to do.   Will that be strictly the iPad?  Or will it involve the MacBooks as well?    After all, what good are iOS apps on a MacBook without a touch interface.  

    The world of computing keeps getting more and more grey as the edges and walls between form factors keep getting chipped away

    edited November 2020
  • Reply 14 of 15
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,235member
    melgross said:

    Apple needs to do something to distinguish the iPad Pro from the new iPad Air which carries many of the pro's features.

    Right now, unless you want the larger 13" model, the Air sounds like its the better choice:  lower price / more power.

    Another thing Apple might do is stick the M1 processor into the Pro.   Now that would be interesting.
    No, never gonna happen, but it’s now possible that we may get, with an A14x, one USB 4/Thunderbolt port. I’m reading somewhat contradictory information. One is that there is one TB controller in the M1 with two TB ports, which is the way these controllers normally work. The other is that there are two controllers, each with just one TB port. Both sides insist their info is correct.

    if the former is true, Apple could include it and just use one port. If the latter is correct, they could use it as is.

    we would all jump hoops to get two TB ports. That would be great on its own, but with the Magic Keyboard’s charging port, it would be fantastic, but it’s likely too much to expect.

    I really don’t see why we couldn’t get one though. Considering that the new computers each have two, this wouldn’t be taking much away from them.

    we can always hope, right?
    OK....  Got it....  But, like the 6 year old I'll ask:   "Why daddy?   Why not?"

    The limitations used to be::
    --  Size
    --  Thermal constraints
    --  Power

    While I tend to agree that we won't see an M1 per se in an iPad, I can see them merging closer and closer together.

    My bet is that the split, the differentiation will not be based on form factor but on functionality -- where, the iPad will remain more graphically oriented while the Macs will remain solidly implanted in the world of word processing and the like (not restricted to only those things but having them as a primary function).

    Obviously, the main reason we won’t see it is because Apple says we won’t. When I suggest we may see a Thunderbolt port, that would be a little bit of a convergence. The real question, I suppose, is where Apple sees the two lines going. If they stick with Jobs’s statement that the iPads are sports cars, and “desktops” are trucks, they may want to differentiate in performance, and even battery life. We already see 18 to 20 hours of claimed battery life for these M1 machines vs the same 10 hours Apple claims for the iPad Pro 12.9”.

    so what convergence can these chips end up with, other than a USB 4/TB port? Moving to 8GB RAM is one, but what else?

    macs are used for far more than word processing. There would be no need for an iMac Pro, or a Mac Pro if word processing was the main focus. Macs are used in the pharmaceutical industry for research. In nasa for engineering, for motion picture editing. For publishing, photography, graphics, CAD/CAM, etc.

    if anything, Macs will pull away from iPads in processing power, and battery life. People aren’t going to want an iPad that weighs another half pound to double battery life. It’s limited to what a very thin device with a screen can do. It’s amazing how far it’s come, but you look at the cooling in the MacBook Air, and you can see how big the passive cooling is.
  • Reply 15 of 15
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    melgross said:
    melgross said:

    Apple needs to do something to distinguish the iPad Pro from the new iPad Air which carries many of the pro's features.

    Right now, unless you want the larger 13" model, the Air sounds like its the better choice:  lower price / more power.

    Another thing Apple might do is stick the M1 processor into the Pro.   Now that would be interesting.
    No, never gonna happen, but it’s now possible that we may get, with an A14x, one USB 4/Thunderbolt port. I’m reading somewhat contradictory information. One is that there is one TB controller in the M1 with two TB ports, which is the way these controllers normally work. The other is that there are two controllers, each with just one TB port. Both sides insist their info is correct.

    if the former is true, Apple could include it and just use one port. If the latter is correct, they could use it as is.

    we would all jump hoops to get two TB ports. That would be great on its own, but with the Magic Keyboard’s charging port, it would be fantastic, but it’s likely too much to expect.

    I really don’t see why we couldn’t get one though. Considering that the new computers each have two, this wouldn’t be taking much away from them.

    we can always hope, right?
    OK....  Got it....  But, like the 6 year old I'll ask:   "Why daddy?   Why not?"

    The limitations used to be::
    --  Size
    --  Thermal constraints
    --  Power

    While I tend to agree that we won't see an M1 per se in an iPad, I can see them merging closer and closer together.

    My bet is that the split, the differentiation will not be based on form factor but on functionality -- where, the iPad will remain more graphically oriented while the Macs will remain solidly implanted in the world of word processing and the like (not restricted to only those things but having them as a primary function).

    Obviously, the main reason we won’t see it is because Apple says we won’t. When I suggest we may see a Thunderbolt port, that would be a little bit of a convergence. The real question, I suppose, is where Apple sees the two lines going. If they stick with Jobs’s statement that the iPads are sports cars, and “desktops” are trucks, they may want to differentiate in performance, and even battery life. We already see 18 to 20 hours of claimed battery life for these M1 machines vs the same 10 hours Apple claims for the iPad Pro 12.9”.

    so what convergence can these chips end up with, other than a USB 4/TB port? Moving to 8GB RAM is one, but what else?

    macs are used for far more than word processing. There would be no need for an iMac Pro, or a Mac Pro if word processing was the main focus. Macs are used in the pharmaceutical industry for research. In nasa for engineering, for motion picture editing. For publishing, photography, graphics, CAD/CAM, etc.

    if anything, Macs will pull away from iPads in processing power, and battery life. People aren’t going to want an iPad that weighs another half pound to double battery life. It’s limited to what a very thin device with a screen can do. It’s amazing how far it’s come, but you look at the cooling in the MacBook Air, and you can see how big the passive cooling is.

    Ultimately the distinction, I think, will come down to functionality rather than form factor.  And, increasingly that functionality is being defined/constrained by screen size:   I am quite sure that my grandson's iphone has more power than the cheap computer that his school bought him -- but that school computer will do things his iPhone can't -- mostly due to peripherals and screen size.

    But, his school computer is a good example of how little processing power means anymore:  it is sporting a red hot Celeron processor!   Well, they were red hot at one time -- maybe 15 years ago.   But yet it does a decent (not great!) job of powering that computer.

    Yes, there are and will be power applications like those you mention.   But they are, I think, niche uses that won't sustain the Mac line because of such low volume.

    But, increasingly we will see will see the lines between those form factors blur.
    An iPad with a USB-4 port could power pretty much anything one could do with an iMac at this point (albeit within the limitations of its OS).

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I am sure that this conversation has happened multiple times and at multiple levels at Apple and they have a path for each product line well laid out.
    One possibility is that they will push the Mac away from its traditional Intel/Windows/PC world and into the more closed garden dominated by iOS to sink or swim.  If you think about it, the Mac line has been an outlier and a remnant -- an orphan -- of the old "Apple Computer Company" after it moved increasingly into the universe defined by iOS.
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