Apple to bring OLED screens to iPad Pro in 2021

Apple is preparing to adopt OLED screens for its iPad Pro tablets launching next year, TheElec reports. LG Display and Samsung Display are currently developing the new OLED panel for Apple’s next-gen iPad Pro models that are likely to launch in the second half of 2021.

Apple's iPad Pro 11-inch and 12.9-inch models come in Silver and Space Gray
Apple’s current iPad Pro 11-inch and 12.9-inch models come in Silver and Space Gray

Jong Jun Lee for TheElec:

Samsung Display was renovating one of its production line at its A4 factory in Asan to produce the OLED screens for the iPad. The company was adding adding a distribution chamber to the organic material deposition chamber to deposit red, green and blue in tandem. This will allow the firm to deposit one layer of RGB, send the substrate back to the front of the production line, and stack an emitting layer atop it.

Tandem structure allows two to three emitting layers to be stacked __ this is done to extend the life of the emitting layer compared to using just one layer.

Tablets are conventionally used longer than smartphones. Having just one emitting layer may inadvertently cause burn-in from the blue OLED losing brightness from extended use.

Apple was requiring higher specs for the OLED that will be used for its iPad Pro from Samsung Display and LG Display compared to screens that provide for iPhones, people familiar with the matter said…

However, Apple’s plans to use OLED screen for its premium tablet line may be delayed depending on the scale of adoption mini LED liquid crystal display (LCD).

Apple is expected to use direct backlight LCD panels for the iPad Pro launching in the first half of 2021.

MacDailyNews Take: If Apple does indeed successfully go Mini LED in early 2021, they’ll never go to OLED.

Mini LED display are LED-backlit LCD with Mini LED–based backlighting supporting over a thousand of Full array local dimming (FALD) zones. This allows deeper blacks and a higher contrast ratio.


  1. “This allows deeper blacks and a higher contrast ratio.” Compared to OLED? NO. OLED has an effective infinite contrast ratio. While mini-LED contrast ratios are extremely high it is not pixel by pixel like OLED.

    I’m waiting for the day in which we have micro-LED displays of at least 2160p. Refresh rates could go as high as 300+ frames per second with nearly infinite contrast. And, if results from current prototype displays hold, there will be virtually none of the long term wear out that OLEDs still have. While OLEDs are vastly superior on long term wear out than they were even five years ago, the wear out is still higher than any form of LCD panel, mini-LED or not. Micro-LED should fix that issue.

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