11.1-inch OLED iPad supply lags behind larger version, April launch expected – 9to5Mac

Anyone ready for new iPads? New iPad Air and iPad Pro hardware is expected to be unveiled any day now. This includes a more affordable 12.9-inch display with the iPad Air expected to add a larger option. We also expect to see the first iPads OLED screen technology to deliver deeper black levels like the iPhone and Apple Watch.

A new report from DSCC may add color on when to expect new iPads to ship. The analyst firm also gives us an idea of what to expect with the iPad Pro supply mix at launch.

Soon, but not yet

Apple went all of 2023 without introducing any new iPad hardware. That’s a first for the tablet line since the original iPad debuted in 2010. However, it sounds like the 2024 iPad hardware will be worth the wait. Apple has used mini LED display technology in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro for two generations, but the 11-inch iPad Pro has stayed on the LCD path.

OLED technology certainly isn’t new to Apple. Apple Watch has used an OLED display since launching in 2015, and the iPhone X introduced OLED to the phone line in 2017. OLED boasts the deepest black levels of current display technology. Apple got closer to OLED contrast ratios with the mini LED iPad Pro two generations ago, but mini LED isn’t without the blooming effects that show up when pixels light up the display.

Samsung & LG

According to DSCC, Apple has gone back and forth on OLED suppliers for the 2024 iPad Pro line. The firm describes the new iPad Pro hardware as “first OLED tablet panels with LTPO, tandem stacks and glass thinning” which translates to Apple selling as many iPad Pros as they can make.

To pull this off, Apple has tasked both Samsung Display and LG Display with producing the new panels. DSCC breaks down how the supplier situation has shifted during production:

  • LG was initially tasked with producing all 12.9-inch panels while sharing 11.1-inch panel production with Samsung.
  • Then Samsung was reportedly the only supplier of 11.1-inch panels due to demand based on high costs for the new iPad Pro hardware.
  • Now DSCC reports that LG is joining Samsung once again in producing 11.1-inch panels.

iPad launch expectations

What does this mean for customers? While both new iPads are expected to jump in price, it sounds like the new 11.1-inch iPad Pro will be supply constrained relative to the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro. However, the situation may balance out at some point as LG contributes to 11.1-inch panel production going into April.

Speaking of April, DSCC believes Apple could announce the new iPad line in March, but we shouldn’t expect shipments until next month. Fortunately, we’re nearing the end of March anyway. And while the whole iPad Pro line is expected to start at prices higher than ever, the iPad Air line will offer some relief with the first 12.9-inch version — just without OLED contrast ratios.

Not worried about the latest iPad hardware? The 9th-gen iPad with a Home button and larger bezels is currently going for $250. If you want something a bit nicer, the 10th-gen iPad is also discounted to $350 and may be worth the jump.

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11.1-inch OLED iPad supply lags behind larger version, April launch expected – 9to5Mac

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