Apple’s future iPad Pro could be thinner, lighter and more premium thanks to new OLED screen technology developed by LG and Samsung.
This is according to a report by The Elec, which claims that both LG Display and Samsung are working on new OLED etching technology that could one day be used in the best iPads. It’s not yet clear when the iPad Pro will benefit from this development, but it could be as early as next year.
We previously reported that the iPad Pro model could get an OLED display in 2024. Both LG and Samsung are said to be producing the panels used by Apple. , these are two-stack designs, meaning there are two emissive layers in the screen, not just one. They are known as hybrid panels and are a compromise between cheap (standard) rigid panels and expensive flexible panels.
These hybrid panels use a combination of glass substrates (like a rigid screen made up of two of these) and thin film encapsulation (TFE) (found in flexible panels). But now that glass substrate layer has to be moved during the manufacturing process on the production line.
This is a problem because in some cases the thin layers are broken – on the other hand, the new etching process can be done all at once, making it safer for manufacturers and allowing for thinner panels (hence the iPad). .
The caveat to all this is that LG Display will reportedly not use this new technology until its first 8th Gen OLED line. Next year’s rumored iPad Pro model will instead adopt the current 6th Gen OLED line. That means those slimmer panels won’t be available until the next generation after the 2024 model year.
Or do we? Samsung Display seems to have started work on this new etching process earlier than LG, and a report by The Elec claims that Samsung’s 6th generation line will soon apply it to iPad OLED panels. That means the next-generation iPad Pro may just benefit from these thin, sleek screens after all.
Analysis: How far away are the dream screens?
Now, if we’re going to see these ultra-thin screens on the next iPad Pro, how will they perform, at least for the panels that Samsung manufactures with this reported new etching process? may have these panels, but the smaller iPad Pro won’t?
The rather heavy iPad Pro 12.9 gets a lot out of its thinner screen, so it certainly makes sense that the larger tablet would be the first upgrade.
Confusing, but previous reports
(opens in new tab) From The Elec (2 months ago), Samsung claimed to be developing only 11-inch OLED screens for Apple, while LG was working on both 11-inch and 13-inch. In the future, The Elec believes that things could change with Samsung making both types.
Ultimately, this is just a lot of rumors, so we have to be very careful about how much stock we put into the idea of a thinner panel for the next-gen iPad Pro. What seems clear here is that slimmer screens are coming, but they may not be next year.
Whatever form OLED finally shows up, next year’s iPad Pro could be pretty expensive. His OLED, with its two-stack design, will be significantly more expensive than current screens, and that cost will be passed on to consumers in the form of the pricier iPad Pro.
The good news is that the display is not only much brighter than a single stack panel, but also lasts longer. This results in a high quality OLED with long life. Thinning them all over would certainly make for an impressive salvo of front-of-screen upgrades.