There’s been a lot of talk about the 2024 iPad Pro refresh that Apple has been planning. If rumors are accurate, the tablets will be significantly more expensive than their predecessors. The 11-inch iPad Pro might start at $1,500. The base price of the 13-inch variant might be $300 more expensive, so it would start at $1,800. That’s all according to a leak from Korea a few days ago.
Separately, Samsung has been showing off new display tech at CES 2024, including new OLED panels that are slimmer than ever. I speculated last week that Samsung might have unveiled the OLED screens going into the iPad Pro models this year without naming Apple or any other potential customers.
The OLED screen is believed to be the main reason Apple will increase iPad Pro prices this year. OLED screens are costly parts for any device, whether it’s the iPhone, a tablet, or a laptop.
It looks like Apple partners are already mass-producing the OLED panels it needs for the 2024 iPad Pros. A new report from Korea says the current schedule puts the OLED iPad Pro on a production trajectory that could lead to an April release date.
According to Korean-language news site The Elec, LG and Samsung are both going to supply the OLED panels Apple will use for the upcoming iPad Pros.
Samsung will reportedly begin production this week. It’ll supply only 11-inch displays to Apple. Samsung will manufacture low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) thin-film transistor (TFT) screens for the smaller iPad.
LG has already begun production of 13-inch OLED panels for the larger iPad Pro. It’ll also manufacture 11-inch versions around the time Samsung starts manufacturing.
The Elec warns that manufacturing might not necessarily be smooth. Production and costs might impact the two suppliers. The report also notes that yields are unstable, as this is the first year Apple will sell iPads with OLED screens. These comments might explain why the new iPad Pros might be more expensive than their predecessors.
Also, Samsung and LG have different strengths in OLED panel manufacturing. The former has experience in producing LTPO TFT screens. LG has more experience making two-stack tandem OLED panels. The iPad Pros should feature LTPO TFT panels and two-stack tandem tech.
The 2024 iPad Pros should be thinner than before, thanks to the new OLED panel that will be thinner than LCDs. That’s actually the screen tech that Samsung teased at CES a few days ago:
One notable feature is the ultra-thin (UT) panel. Samsung Display’s UT OLED panels are about 0.6mm thick, similar to the thickness of a business card, which is one-third the thickness of an LCD panel. This difference is easily noticeable even to the naked eye. Additionally, the UT OLED panels are lightweight, with three UT OLED panels weighing the same as one LCD panel of the same size.
The two-stack tandem structure means the tablets will have two light-emitting layers. Brightness should improve as a result, as well as power efficiency.
The Elec says Apple might start assembling the 2024 iPad Pro models in March. The new tablets will hit stores at some point in April. However, the report doesn’t provide a release date for the OLED iPad Pros.
The report does say Apple should ship up to 8 million units of 2024 iPad Pros, some 2 million lower than expectations. The OLED iPads will also be a test for Apple, as the company plans to use OLED panels in MacBooks next.