OLED iPads in 2024: Growing evidence as third supplier preps

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Evidence for the launch of OLED iPads in 2024 appears to be growing, as a new supply chain report says that three Apple display providers are gearing up for production.

There have so far been conflicting reports about whether Apple even plans to make iPads with OLED screens, with further disputes about when it might happen, but we do appear to be getting a more coherent picture of late …

Background

We’ve talked before about the gradual transition Apple is making in terms of display tech.

  • IPS LCD with conventional backlighting. This is still used in older Macs and cheaper iPhones.
  • IPS LCD with miniLED backlighting. Apple switched to this for iPad Pro models, and is now using it in the new MacBook Pro. It allows for darker blacks and brighter whites, and makes a surprising difference.
  • OLED. Apple first adopted this in the Apple Watch before bringing it to the iPhone, starting with the iPhone X. Apple has not yet used this in either iPads or MacBooks, but is expected to do so sometime in the 2023-2026 timeframe.
  • MicroLED. Despite the similarity in name to miniLED, this is a completely different technology. It’s effectively a much more sophisticated version of OLED. It’s brighter, more power-efficient, and doesn’t suffer from burn-in. Apple’s interest in microLED dates back to at least 2014, and while there have been some signs of progress, this tech is still at a very early stage of development. As with OLED, it’s likely to come first to the Apple Watch, then iPhone, iPad, and Macs, in that order.

Some sources have claimed that Apple would skip OLED altogether, while most say OLED iPads are in the works, but disagree over launch dates – with everything from 2022 to 2026 reported.

Growing evidence for OLED iPads in 2024

Samsung has so far been Apple’s lead supplier for OLED screens, having the most advanced tech. The company was last month reported to be developing a more advanced form of OLED panel that doubles the brightness and boosts longevity. That report suggested the first OLED iPad in 2024.

LG is also reported to be readying itself for orders for OLED iPad displays, preparing to double the production of a plant dedicated to making advanced displays in the right size range for iPads.

Today, TheElec reports that Chinese display maker BOE is making its own next-gen OLED production plans in readiness for an iPad launch in 2024 – though it is likely to be a little later to the party than Samsung and LG.

BOE is planning to build a Gen 8.6 (2250x2600mm) IT OLED panel production line at its B16 factory in the city of Chengdu in Sichuan Province, China, TheElec has learned.

The Chinese display panel giant is planning to have the line have a production capacity of 15,000 substrates per month and start production near the end of 2024, sources said.

Like its South Korean rivals Samsung Display and LG Display, BOE is planning to build the line in preparation to supply OLED panels to Apple for applications in IT products such as iPad tablets and MacBook notebooks […]

Samsung Display and LG Display will be using Gen 6 production lines to produce their first OLED panels aimed at iPads __ Apple is expected to introduce one in 2024.

Photo: Roberto Nickson/Unsplash

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