There have been reports talking about new iPad Pros with Mini-LED displays for over a year now, so a new one is no surprise. However, there’s a little more than that to this particular story.
As for Mini-LED, those new iPad Pros were supposed to arrive sometime this year. However, as we all know, COVID happened and pretty much everything in 2020 has been affected in one way or another. A delayed iPad is the least of them in the grand scheme, but it’s what I cover here, so here we go.
More recent reports now have this new device arriving in the spring of 2021. The latest to predict this comes from The Elec, a new source for iPad rumors based in South Korea. However, that isn’t the highlight of this article. That would be the prediction that Apple will follow a new Mini-LED iPad Pro with an OLED version later in 2021.
According to The Elec :
Samsung Display and LG Display, which currently supplies OLED panels for iPhones, were currently developing the new OLED panel for the new tablets that will likely launch in the second half of 2021.
Interesting. This is a new one. I can’t think of any previous rumors of an OLED display on an iPad, which I don’t find surprising. OLED tends to add to the bill of material of a device and is more difficult to produce. There are also far fewer sources to get them from. For any manufacturer not named Samsung or LG, it just seems like a lot of trouble and extra cost for too little benefit.
The current laptop and tablet landscape seems to back this up. Despite the fact that the technology has been around for a while, there aren’t nearly as many OLED laptops as ones with traditional LCD displays for a reason. And while there have been some other tablets with OLED displays (mainly from Samsung), none of them sell at the scale you expect from an iPad. Again, most people aren’t going to pay an additional premium on a high-end product for a somewhat better screen.
These arguments against OLED have been part of the reasoning bolstering the rumors of an iPad Pro with a Mini-LED display. This tech will supposedly deliver a better and more energy efficient version of a display technology that costs less and is easier to produce. It will also be more widely available, since many LCD manufacturers should be able to produce them. The choice between this and OLED seems pretty cut and dried.
Even this article admits this may not happen on their predicted timeline:
However, Apple’s plans to use OLED screen for its premium tablet line may be delayed depending on the scale of adoption miniLED liquid crystal display (LCD).
All I can say is that I agree with this quote, but that’s about all. There’s been multiple rumors of a Mini-LED iPad Pro with other models of iPad potentially to follow. These reports have come from multiple reputable sources for Apple leaks and information and they have been pretty consistent.
Conversely, this article from The Elec isn’t from a source with a long track record, is completely out of left field, and reads more like an ad or fishing expedition for Samsung and LG from a hometown source. Then you also have the fact that the writers are predicting Apple will release two iPad Pros with two new and different display technologies in the same calendar year? Yeah, I’m not biting. Unless this is corroborated by other, more reliable Apple sources, I wouldn’t put much stock in it.