OLED iPad Plans Shelved for 2022 but Could Materialize in 2024

BY Chandraveer Mathur

Published 11 Jan 2022

A supply chain report from The Elec now corroborates reputed leaker Ming-Chi Kuo’s claim that Apple has shelved plans to launch an iPad with an OLED display in 2022. However, it adds that Apple is still in talks with Samsung, and the OLED iPad could materialize in 2024.

The report claims that Apple has temporarily put plans for an OLED iPad on hold because its quality and price requirements didn’t suit Samsung Display, the primary supplier for OLED panels. However, negotiations have not broken down, and the two companies are still in talks.

Apple reportedly wanted Samsung to make OLEDs with a two-stack tandem structure (i.e., two emission layers) instead of the conventional single-stack approach. This made the undertaking unviable for Samsung. Using the technology would make the displays brighter, but Samsung and Apple couldn’t agree upon a price to manufacture the displays using existing technology.

“Samsung Display will need an order of substantial volume from Apple to expand its Gen 8.5 (2200x2500mm) IT OLED panels this year. It is developing the technology for Apple to meet their requirements at technology and price for the panels.

The pair had collaborated on a project to develop a 10.86-inch OLED iPad last year, which was halted during the third quarter.

If Samsung Display can secure a large enough order from Apple this time around, it can finalize a spending plan during the second quarter and start ordering needed equipment during the third quarter.

The equipment will then likely be delivered in 2023 with a commercial iPad sporting an OLED panel expected in 2024.”

Our Take

Apple’s eventual goal is to equip the product range with miniLEDs. However, OLEDs are a stepping stone to getting miniLEDs right. Apple is expected to use a miniLED panel on the 11-inch iPad Pro after debuting the tech on the 12.9-inch model last year. As for the iPad Air refresh due this year, it will likely focus on internal upgrades, so a 2024 timeline for an OLED iPad sounds plausible.

[Via The Elec]