Apple tosses OLED iPad plans, will focus on improved mini-LED displays instead - MrLiambi's blog


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Monday, 4 October 2021

Apple tosses OLED iPad plans, will focus on improved mini-LED displays instead

Rumours have swirled that Apple was planning on implementing an OLED display into a future iPad model - whether that be the iPad Pro initially or the iPad Air remained unknown - however, a new report by reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo states that the company has ultimately decided to jettison those plans in favour of focusing on implementing mini-LED across the entire lineup, instead. 

At the moment, Apple currently uses two types of modern display technologies alongside the standard LCD panels found in the lower-cost iPad models and Mac line - OLED, the most premium offering used on the iPhone 13 series and Apple Watch, and mini-LED, found exclusively on the latest 12.9-inch iPad Pro. 

OLED uses pixel-by-pixel dimming techniques, meaning picture quality is at an all-time high with perfect blacks and vivid colours. The downside, however, is that long-term OLED displays run the risk of permanent burn-in. Mini-LED, on the other hand, uses traditional LCD technology with local dimming zones. While mini-LED still creates the opportunity to replicate true blacks, it won't be as precise as OLED, meaning blooming is still potentially be an issue. However, on the bright side (pun intended), mini-LED displays can get brighter than OLED panels. 

An accentuated example of blooming. Edited for greater visibility.

For example, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro can reach up to 1600 nits of peak brightness while viewing HDR view, whereas the OLED iPhone 13 Pro can only reach 1200 nits when viewing HDR content. 

Almost immediately following the reveal that Apple was using more advanced local dimming mini-LED panels on the larger iPad Pro while retaining the standard Liquid Retina LCD on the 11-inch model, analysts speculated that the company would bring mini-LED to the smaller sibling iPad Pro at the company's next hardware refresh. 

Now, Kuo seems to confirm that mini-LED will be the 'focus of [the] iPad line in 2022' and beyond. 

Whether or not mini-LED makes its way to lower-cost iPad models such as the iPad mini and standard iPad remains to be seen. However, Kuo's wording does seem to indicate a boost to the already great iPad mini screen may be lurking in the not-so-far-off distance. 

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