New iPad Air tipped to be next to get OLED upgrade after iPad Pro

iPad Air 5
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

While new iPad Pro OLED models are expected to launch at this month's Apple event, Apple has reportedly already decided which of its tablets will get an upgraded display next: the iPad Air. Just don't expect it anytime soon though. 

The iPad Air is the next Apple tablet slated to get OLED display panel technology, according to an updated Apple forecast from the research firm Omdia. "We expect the iPad Air to change to OLED in 2028, and the iPad Air will use single-stack and two-stack tandem OLED for the iPad Pro," said Omdia researcher Kang Min-soo at this week's 2024 Korea Display Conference in Seoul. The news was first reported by The Elec and spotted by MacRumors.

Min-Soo added that Apple's high-end tablet will migrate to OLED in 2024, as has been rumored for some time. Also unsurprising is the fact that it'll use a two-stack tandem OLED design, which, as the name suggests, consists of two light-emitting layers stacked on top of each other. The two-stack OLED design has the advantage of lower power usage and an extended lifespan over a single-stack OLED display like the type currently found on the best iPhones. Interestingly, Min-soo said the iPad Air will instead be getting a single-stack OLED design, but this far out from launch, it's little more than a guess about what aspect of OLED tech Apple will opt to use. 

Apple's OLED tablet roadmap

Omdia's latest prediction is a slight departure from its previous predictions about Apple's OLED tablet roadmap. Earlier this year, the firm's forecast had Apple launching an 8.3-inch iPad mini and 10.8-inch iPad Air models with OLED displays in 2026, two years earlier than the new projections. Now Omdia seems more inclined to believe that, within the next few years, Apple will introduce an OLED foldable tablet in the form of a 7- to 8-inch device that would replace the iPad mini.

While we may have a while to wait for an OLED iPad Air, several updated iPad models along with a third-generation Apple Pencil are expected to be unveiled in the coming weeks. A new iPad Pro is rumored to come in the standard 12.9-inch and 11-inch sizes, and both could finally make the long-anticipated jump to OLED screens for the first time. Meanwhile, the iPad Air could come in a larger 12.9-inch size for the first time, further blurring the lines between Apple's tablet lines. 

For both the Air and the Pro, Apple is tipped to relocate the FaceTime camera from the top of the device to the side in the same vein as the iPad 10. When it comes to the best tablets on the market, the iPad Air 2022 currently tops our list, and the new Air could earn that top spot once more. 

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Alyse Stanley
News Editor

Alyse Stanley is a news editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing weekend coverage and writing about the latest in tech, gaming and entertainment. Prior to joining Tom’s Guide, Alyse worked as an editor for the Washington Post’s sunsetted video game section, Launcher. She previously led Gizmodo’s weekend news desk, where she covered breaking tech news — everything from the latest spec rumors and gadget launches to social media policy and cybersecurity threats.  She has also written game reviews and features as a freelance reporter for outlets like Polygon, Unwinnable, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. She’s a big fan of horror movies, cartoons, and miniature painting.