Allegedly, Apple will transition the iPad lineup from LCD to OLED display panels by 2024. Beyond that, a new report claims that Apple is expected to introduce “hybrid” OLED panels in future iPad models.
Currently, iPhones and Apple Watch models are equipped with OLED displays. The organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screen panels are thinner, lighter, produce high-quality images, and are more power-efficient than LCD panels.
Although Apple launched 12.9-inch mini-LED iPad Pro in 2021, the tech company wants to expand the OLED display tech to its tablets lineup.
Samsung and LG working on “ultra-thin glass” for future iPads’ hybrid OLED panels
According to The Elec, Apple is not “too keen” on using the flexible OLED panels in future iPads because of their crumpled screen.
The crumples are likely caused by how flexible OLED panels are made. During their production, glass substrates. Polyimide varnishes in liquid form are deposited on top of the substrate and the glass is later removed through lasers. The remaining solidified polyimide is the plastic substrate. During the laser removable, some parts of the polyimide may be warped from the heat.
Therefore, the flexible OLED displays are suitable for smaller screens like iPhones but for iPads because they are noticeable on larger screens.
Now, the tech giant is exploring the hybrid OLED tech which will have rigid OLED and flexible OLED panel technologies.
Rigid OLED panels use glass as substrates while flexible OLED panels use plastics __ mostly polyimide __ that are encapsulated for protection.
A hybrid OLED panel uses a glass substrate like rigid OLED panels do but also uses the thin-film encapsulation of flexible OLED panels. Hybrid OLED panels are also thinner than flexible ones and are expected to be cheaper to mass produce.
Apple’s suppliers Samsung Display and LG Display are developing a 2mm ultra-thin glass substrate for its hybrid OLED panels which will take a year. It is likely the OLED iPads might launch by the end of 2023 or early 2024.