In 2020, Apple launched the latest 4th generation iPad Air model with iPad Pro design language, A14 Bionic chip, a fingerprint sensor embedded into a button on the side, and more. Now, tech analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reports that the company is going to replace the currently used Liquid Retina LCD display technology with OLED display technology in the next-generation iPad Air model launching in 2022.
Apple offers the OLED display tech in Apple Watch and iPhone 12 models. Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLED) technology places a series of organic thin films between conductors which emit bright light. As the OLED display does not require a white backlight, it is more efficient than an LCD display and is thinner. However, the advanced OLED panels are expensive which would inherently increase the cost of the device they are used in.
Next-generation iPad Air will ship with OLED technology for a brighter and better display
After years of using LCD panels in the iPad lineup, Apple is now allegedly improving the display quality by introducing OLED and miniLED displays. Having said that, the company has reserved the OLED display for mid-to-low range iPad models and miniLED display for high-end iPad Pro models.
Using LCD matrix to emit backlight, the miniLED technology uses smaller diodes for the backlights which is more power-efficient and delivers a higher contrast ratio, brightness, and deeper blacks. Kuo writes that,
The market is worried that if the iPad starts to use OLED in 2022, Apple will abandon the mini LED. However, according to our latest industry survey, if the iPad adopts an OLED display in 2022, it will be the mid-/low-end iPad Air, while the high-end iPad Pro will still use a mini LED display. The adoption of OLED in iPad does not affect the positive trend of mini LED. Since the OLED used in iPad is a rigid type and has a significantly lower PPI than iPhone, it is less challenging to produce, and the cost is close to the LCD currently used in iPad Air.
Although the next-generation iPad Air with OLED display will launch next year, Apple is rumored to launch the iPad Pro model with a miniLED display in Q2 of 2021. Multiple industry sources like Bloomberg and DigiTimes report that the 12.9-inch iPad Pro will go into mass production in April.