OLED iPads could be coming next year — here's why

iPad Pro 2021 (11-inch) review
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Apple is reportedly planning to adopt OLED displays in “some” iPads from next year. This is far from the first time we’ve heard reports that Apple will be upgrading the display on its popular tablet range in 2022. 

This latest tip comes from Korean outlet ETNews (via 9to5Mac). The publication claims: “Apple decided to apply OLED instead of Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) from some iPad models in 2022. It is reported that Apple and display companies have agreed on production and delivery." 

These tablets wouldn’t be Apple’s first products offering an OLED panel either. One of the biggest selling points of the iPhone 12 is the inclusion of OLED display technology, and it would make a lot of sense for the company to roll out the feature to more of its products in the future. 

The OLED displays for the current generation of iPhones are supplied by Samsung and LG, and it seems an agreement has already been reached for these companies to produce displays for future iterations of the iPad. This would again suggest that 2022 is the first year we can expect to see iPads with an OLED screen. 

This latest report ties in nicely with claims from reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo that next year’s version of the iPad Air will feature an OLED display. This is despite Apple most recently using a Liquid Retina XDR (Mini-LED) display on its iPad Pro 2021, which launched just last month.   

Mini-LED displays offer many of the same benefits of an OLED screen, including deeper blacks and richer colors, plus they don’t suffer from burn-in. However, OLED has the advantage when it comes to pixel-level contrast. While previously OLED was the more expensive of the two, in recent years the pricing of OLED panels has dropped significantly. 

Some Apple analysts, including those at ETNews, have suggested that Apple’s use of Mini-LED on the latest iPad Pro is a temporary stop-gap solution, and this latest rumor would again indicate that in the long term Apple tablets will offer OLED displays. 

Of course, Apple could take a best of both worlds approach and continue to offer a Mini-LED display on the iPad Pro line while adopting OLED for the iPad Air range. Though due to logistical and pricing issues it would probably be much easier for the company to select a unified display option.

Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.