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2024 iPad Pro could be much more expensive due to pricey OLED panels

Published Feb 27th, 2023 9:32AM EST
iPad Pro M2

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Rumors about the 2024 iPad Pro adopting an OLED panel are pretty much certain. While this will make both 11 and 12.9-inch models more similar, as currently, only the bigger version offers a better display, a report indicates that this improvement will come at a higher price.

The Korean version of The Elec says that Apple will pay up to three times more for the OLED panel than the ones used by its competitors today.

Apple, LG Display, and Samsung Display are discussing the supply price of OLED panels for iPads scheduled to be released next year at around $270 for the 11-inch model and $350 for the 13-inch model. The supply price of OLED panels for existing IT products in the early 10-inch range is around $100-150.

Apple will pay more for the OLED panel on the new 2024 iPad Pro because it will introduce new processes not found in existing products, such as a two-stack tandem structure, an LTPO thin film transistor, and a hybrid OLED structure. That said, industry analysts believe supply prices are bound to rise because of this new process.

Interestingly enough, one of the reasons why Apple opted for OLED panels for the 2024 iPad Pro was due to prices falling. According to display analyst Ross Young, the Cupertino firm was embracing OLED panels due to display costs falling. The analyst believed not only the performance of OLED panels would improve in the next few years thanks to tandem stacks and phosphorescent blue emitters, but costs would also fall from the larger fab.

The English version of The Elec says Apple is slowly transitioning through four types of display technology for its products. It started with IPS LCD, then IPS LCD with miniLED backlighting (available with the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro), and, shortly, OLED. 

After this transition, Apple will finally switch to microLED. We heard that the Apple Watch Ultra would be the first with this technology.

Despite the similarity in name to miniLED, this is a completely different technology. It’s effectively a much more sophisticated version of OLED. It’s brighter, more power-efficient and doesn’t suffer from burn-in. Apple’s interest in microLED dates back to at least 2014, and while there have been some signs of progress, this tech is still at a very early stage of development. As with OLED, it’s likely to come first to the Apple Watch, then iPhone, iPad and Macs, in that order.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.