Apple iPad with OLED screens incoming — but not until 2023

Souped-up OLED screens could still be a while away

Apple iPad Pro
(Image credit: Apple)

After the release of the Apple iPad Pro 2021 with its mini-LED display, new information has just surfaced that suggests Apple will unveil a 10.9-inch AMOLED iPad — but not until 2023.

That's according to Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC), which claims Apple is expected to release its much-anticipated first OLED iPad in 2023, with the consultancy chain suggesting that this is likely to be an Apple iPad Air model.

The news arrives as part of DSCC's Quarterly OLED Shipment Report, adding fuel to multiple reports that Apple is working on an OLED iPad, along with vast amounts of prior speculation that the technology is being developed for future iPadOS devices. 

Currently, Apple’s OLED displays are confined to devices from some older iPhone models up to the Apple iPhone 12 series, plus the Touch Bar on the Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020), amongst other bits of hardware. In the past, there's been plenty of back and forth around what big screen upgrades Apple is planning for its next-gen iPads, with Ming-Chi Kuo once tipping OLED iPads as early as next year. 

OLED is currently a buzzword

Though the trusted Apple analyst may be some way off with his predicted year, Kuo also tipped Apple's first OLED ‌iPad to be an ‌iPad Air‌ rather than an iPad Pro, which now seems to be more likely given this latest report.

At the moment, OLED is certainly a buzzword that gets people talking: be that the possibility of its perfect on-screen blacks, or OLED as the zenith of display beauty. We're not really sure what it is about OLED that stirs such frantic online discussion, but its inclusion as an upgrade in the Nintendo Switch OLED console has put it in the spotlight even further, leaving some people feeling a bit disappointed with Nintendo's next-gen Switch console.

A pricey affair

The OLED war of words is something that people either steer well clear from or tirelessly ruminate over; here at T3, we fall somewhere in-between, as it's certainly very expensive and still dependent on the individual monitors and the context of the overall display unit. While OLED screens could excel in, say, the evening for viewing boxsets in a darkened room, maybe it would be preferable to have an LED screen with best-in-class visibility ratings in a room lit with daylight. It feels like a debate that's won on context rather than a single answer.

Either way, it's best to take the latest news with a pinch of salt, as we've seen mountains of predictions about the arrival of iPads with OLED screens throughout last year and beyond. One thing's for certain, though: OLED is already damn expensive and is only really currently found on the screens of smaller devices like, say, some of the best iPhone and best Apple Watch devices. A move to the larger realm of iPad screens could make things even pricier to the point of it being unaffordable for the general consumer. We'll have to wait and see.

Luke Wilson
Luke Wilson

Luke covers all things tech at T3. Disc golf enthusiast, keen jogger, and fond of all things outdoors (when not indoors messing around with gadgets)