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OLED iPad Pro rumored to be much more expensive than current models

Published Mar 9th, 2023 10:53AM EST
iPad Pro M2

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The OLED iPad Pro is coming in 2024. With the first impressive change since the M1 processor in 2021, Apple’s professional tablet line will make users think twice before upgrading. While an OLED display will be an important addition to both 11-inch and 12.9-inch models, the Korean version of The Elec reports that these tablets will be very expensive.

The publication believes the 11-inch model could start at $1,500, while the 12.9-inch could be priced at $1,800. This would represent an 80% higher price for the standard model and a 60% price increase for the bigger version.

Currently, the 11-inch iPad Pro starts at $799, and the 12.9-inch option at $1,099. That said, the OLED iPad Pro could be pricier than some current Macs, such as the M1 MacBook Air, M2 MacBook Air, and entry-level MacBook Pro with the M2 chip.

The industry reaction to these prices is split. One interpretation says this is “a reasonable level of increase even considering that it’s an Apple product with a high-loyal customer base,” and the other one believes iPad customers aren’t as loyal as iPhone owners.

By the end of February, Apple ordered the first batch of the sixth-generation OLED panel for the new iPad to LG Display and Samsung Display. The two manufacturers are discussing the prices with Apple, which say it’s around $270 for the 11-inch model and $350 for the 12.9-inch model.

The OLED panel price is three times higher than the existing 10-inch models these companies currently supply. That said, these values could change as the panels are currently in the development stage.

Display analyst Ross Young believes Apple aims to announce new iPad Pro models by the beginning of 2024. According to him, the Cupertino firm is embracing OLED panels due to display costs falling – although it doesn’t seem to be the case here. The analyst previously said not only will the performance of OLED panels improve in the next few years thanks to tandem stacks and phosphorescent blue emitters, but costs will also fall from larger fabs.

The Elec, for example, 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. 

The report says 2024 is when people should expect an OLED iPad Pro and 2026 an OLED MacBook Pro.

After this transition, Apple will finally switch to microLED. As we heard, the Apple Watch Ultra will 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.

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