According to the English language version of ET News (via MacRumors), Apple is producing final prototypes of iPads using OLED sourced from what the publication calls “major domestic display partners.” Since ET News is Korean, this comment hints at LG and Samsung’s display units being responsible for the panels to be used with these iPad Pro units.
The current version of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro
The report notes that Apple has produced multiple prototypes of its top-of-the-line tablets with OLED displays. The use of OLED for the iPad is expected to lead Samsung and LG to make some investments in new small and medium-sized OLED production facilities. The tablets are expected to offer a more lightweight design with spectacular image quality. With the use of the OLED panels, Apple will bring the dry-etching process to iPad production for the first time.
Display dry-etching removes unnecessary parts from a device using chemical technology. The display is etched to make it thinner and lighter. Apple doesn’t use the dry-etching process for the OLED panels used on the iPhone because the OLED displays used on that device are lighter than the LCD screens that Apple once used on its connected handsets. Use of the dry-etching process will lead to a higher price for impacted iPad models.
The pandemic helped iPad sales grow as employees and students working from home turned to the tablet to help them work and learn remotely. And when done with their tasks for the day, tablet users could quickly and easily turn to the device to play video games and stream television programs and movies. With pandemic fears slowing, surging tablet sales seem to be a thing of the past.
Apple is hoping that by improving the iPad Pro display using OLED, it can jump start revenue of this product once again.