Apple began using OLED displays in the iPhone X in 2017, and before that, in the first Apple Watch. And the Touch Bar, of course (RIP). But it has been slow to move away from LCD elsewhere, like its iMacs, MacBooks, standalone displays and iPads. I want OLED on all of these things, but if the iPad Pro gets it first, as rumored, then I’m fine with it.
There is no product where using an LCD panel bothers me more than my 11-inch iPad Pro. It has a nice screen as long as I look directly at it. However, if you move off-axis a little, the screen becomes much darker. This is also true for my laptop, but I always sit directly in front of that screen and almost always look at a browser window containing text.
Contrast isn’t an LCD’s strong suit either, and the gray-black of letterboxing and shadows when watching movies and shows bothers me more than it probably should. It doesn’t matter if I’m just reading, but if I’m playing a game, especially something like Resident Evil Village, which I’m sure will work on the next iPad Pro – or when watching a movie, the added deep blacks of OLED would look better. And in a dark horror game, it would be easier to spot things with added contrast.
OLED would mean something else, like an always-on iPad screen. This could open a version of iPhone sleep mode which turns the iPad into a true blue smart screen (something that is there have been rumors before), actually opening up a niche for the iPad that it could really use.
Assuming an OLED upgrade means more than just a screen for the next Pro model, I’d sell my M1 iPad Pro in a heartbeat to buy it.
It looks like I might get my wish soon. This morning, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reiterated in the subscriber questions and answers section of To light up something he said in the past: that Apple has a new OLED iPad Pro coming next year. And in this latest update, he called it “the first major redesign in half a decade,” in the form of an 11-inch model and a 13-inch model, and I hope it ‘is right. because he needs it.
Ming-Chi Kuo echoed this Later today, in a Medium post, Apple will mass produce two OLED iPads using the same LTPO technology that gives Apple Watches and newer iPhones their variable refresh rate from 1Hz to 120Hz. Kuo added that They would outperform the Mini LED iPad Pro in terms of “display performance and power consumption”.