There have been multiple rumors about an OLED iPad being released next year. Apple was reportedly working with Samsung on the OLED panel for the tablet. That was hardly surprising as Samsung’s is the dominant supplier of OLED displays.
However, it appears that there has been a change of plan. The latest reports suggest that Apple and Samsung have given up on this project for now. This means that there probably won’t be an OLED iPad next year.
Apple and Samsung can’t seem to agree, what else is new?
Apple was reportedly going to launch its first iPad with an OLED display in 2022. It would have featured a 10.86-inch panel supplied by Samsung. This tablet was supposedly the successor to the existing iPad Air. In 2023, Apple was then expected to launch 11-inch and 12.9-inch OLED iPad Pro models.
The latest reports out of South Korea suggest that the 10.86-inch OLED display project has been cancelled by Samsung and Apple. The reason remains a mystery with some claiming it may have to do with profitability issues or the single stack structure of the OLED panel.
The single stack OLED panel structure is most widely used currently. The RGBs form a single emission layer. In a two stack tandem structure, which Apple had reportedly asked for, there are two RGB emission layers stacked on top of each other. This is said to deliver a 2x increase in brightness and 4x in panel life.
Samsung Display proposed a single stack structure despite the request from Apple. It has commercialized single stack only so far. Unless Samsung Display knows that the 10.86-inch OLED iPad will sell well and for a long time to come, preparing the back-end process for the two stack structure would be very costly.
Samsung Display is right to be concerned about its profitability in the face of such uncertainty. Apple has had to pay the company penalties in the past for not buying as many displays as it was supposed to.
Apple could get the panel from LG Display that’s making two stack OLEDs for its automotive clients. However, its production capacity is limited and may not be able to provide the kind of numbers Apple would need for a new iPad.
It remains unclear what will become of the OLED iPad in the face of these supply chain issues. Perhaps the two companies will work something out that will enable the device to hit the market in 2023.
Apple is quite late to the OLED tablet game. Some of the best Samsung tablets have OLED displays, they’ve actually had them since 2011, when Samsung’s first OLED tablet was released.