While we’re still waiting for a redesigned iPad mini to arrive later this year, rumors are already building for the next round of iPads in 2022. And it looks like Apple will be moving to OLED displays for the iPad Air.
According to Korea-based The Elec, Apple is shoring up the development of an iPad with a 10.86-inch OLED screen, which just so happens to be the same size as the current iPad Air. The publication reports that Samsung will be the sole supplier of the display. Samsung already makes a Galaxy Tab S7 Plus with a 12.4-inch 2800×1752 120Hz OLED screen. The current Air has a 2360×1640 60Hz LED display.
The Elec describes the display as “rigid OLED and thin-film encapsulation (TFE)” with “low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) thin-film transistor (TFT) and red, green and blue emission layers,” similar to displays used in the iPhone 12.
An OLED display would be a massive upgrade for the iPad Air, which launched last year with an iPad Pro-like Liquid Retina screen. While the display is fantastic, OLED would bring it closer to the Retina XDR display in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which has superior contrast and brightness, as well as ProMotion technology.
The second-generation iPad Air is due to launch in mid-to-late 2022 with a faster processor (likely the A15) and possibly a higher-quality camera with the Center Stage technology introduced with the iPad Pro. According to the report, Apple is also eying OLED screens for the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro in 2023. Apple just added mini-LED to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, but Apple has struggled to fill orders, with the current shipping delays topping two weeks.
Michael Simon has been covering Apple since the iPod was the iWalk. His obsession with technology goes back to his first PC—the IBM Thinkpad with the lift-up keyboard for swapping out the drive. He's still waiting for that to come back in style tbh.