OLED iPads are coming, but the Air and mini will be late to this pixel party

Apple's planning to put OLEDs in every kind of iPad, but there's no need to shelve your new-iPad plans any time soon

iPad Air range
(Image credit: Apple)

We've been hearing about OLED iPad Pros for some time now, and a new report says they're sill coming – and that the tech will be appearing in the iPad Air and iPad mini too. But if you were busy sticking a new iPad into your shopping basket, there's no need to cancel your iPad purchase. The OLED Air and mini aren't likely to appear until at least 2026.

That's according to a new report from tech research firm Omdia, via MacRumors. It says that Apple's OLED plans will begin with the 2024 iPad Pro, and that the intention is to then bring the same tech to the iPad Air and iPad mini in 2026.

However, the report also says that Apple isn't necessarily committed to the second part of that plan. While the OLED iPad Pro is a definite, OLED iPad Airs and minis depend very much on how well that Pro model sells.

Will Apple bring OLED to the more affordable iPads?

For the entry level iPad, the answer appears to be a big no: the display tech just isn't cheap enough, and the report suggests that the current most affordable iPad, the 9th generation iPad, is likely to be discontinued in favour of the slightly larger 10.9-inch iPad when the 11th generation of that model launches next year.

As for the OLED Air and mini, Apple is apparently taking a wait-and-see approach: if the OLED iPad Pro is a blockbuster product then the tech will move to more affordable iPads, and if it doesn't then it won't. The planned maybe-2026 timeline gives Apple plenty of time to assess the sales of the OLED Pro before locking down contracts with OLED suppliers for its 2026 iPad range.

The 2024 iPad Pro could well be the most significant upgrade to the iPad we've seen since the Pro was first launched: reports so far suggest that in addition to an OLED display and the M3 processor it's going to get "fundamental changes" that include a completely new, more Mac-like Magic Keyboard and perhaps some design changes too.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).