There have been a bunch of rumors about a possible OLED iPad Pro, which could arrive sometime next year. But it sounds like that upgrade could come with a serious catch. The catch being that it could be an incredibly expensive device, with prices ranging from $1,500 to $,1800.
This information comes from a report from Korean site The Elec. The site claims the 11-inch iPad Pro OLED will cost $1,500, while the $1,800 price tag corresponds to the 13-inch model. That's a staggering amount of money and honestly seems too high to be true. Those prices are more expensive than the MacBook Air M2 ($1,199) and closer to the MacBook Pro 14-inch ($1,999).
Currently, the 11-inch iPad Pro starts at $799, while the 12.9-inch iPad Pro model starts at $1,099. The larger model even includes a mini-LED display, which gives it a number of advantages over the 11-inch model’s LCD panel. But those prices are considerably lower than the claimed price of the OLED upgrades. 87.5% higher in the case of the 11-inch model and 63.7% for the 13-inch model. That’s quite the price hike.
OLED iPads: Why so freakin' much?
OLED panels are typically more expensive than other display types, but they’re pretty commonplace nowadays. Especially in smaller devices like phones, tablets and laptops. So while we were expecting a price increase to account for the display upgrade, we definitely weren’t expecting it to be quite so high.
The Elec claims that these prices are designed to account for the cost of development and higher material costs. The report claims that various processes are different with these panels which causes the price to increase. They include having two light emitting layers, use of LTPO thin film transistors, and a hybrid structure that utilizes glass substrate and thin film encapsulation. In short, these are not your typical OLED panels and that’s being reflected in the price.
Apparently, discussions with Samsung Display and LG have tipped the 11- and 13-inch panels to cost $270 and $350, respectively. The Elec notes that this is roughly two to three times higher than existing 10-inch OLED panels — which typically cost between $100 and $150.
That pricing is going to be too much for a lot of people, especially when a MacBook Pro can be purchased for a couple-hundred dollars more. So we suspect that the OLED iPads may be marketed as an ultra-premium model, and only manufactured in limited numbers. That way customers who don’t have such deep pockets can still purchase the lower-priced models with mini-LED or LCD displays.
OLED iPad Pros are currently expected to arrive sometime next year, followed by OLED MacBook Pro panels in 2026. So there’s going to be a little bit of a wait before we can confirm whether The Elec’s report proves to be true or not.