The Next-Gen iPad Pro Won’t Have an OLED Display After All

Written by Bill Toulas
Last updated September 23, 2021

According to an increasing number of rumors that come from relatively credible sources, the 2021 iPad Pro won’t feature the long-awaited OLED display technology. This is unfortunate and saddening for those who were eagerly hoping to hold an Apple tablet with colors that “pop,” but it doesn’t mean that there won’t be an upgrade at all.

Apple will reportedly go with the choice of a “mini-LED” display, which involves the use of smaller LEDs. This enables the screen controller to achieve more accurate local-dimming effects and thus have an overall better contrast performance.

The Mini-LED tech isn’t comparable to OLED in terms of light-emissive quality, but it’s a lot closer to emulating it than regular LCD solutions. So, there will be a difference compared to the previous iPad Pro, and a very noticeable one.

At the same time, Apple ensures that the 2022 iPad Pro will feature a screen quality bump again, keeping that ace under its sleeve. After all, from a marketing perspective, why leap OLED now instead of offering two smaller jumps and enjoy more selling arguments along the way?

Some believe that this is a cost-related choice, claiming that Apple is trying to keep the final price tag within a certain range, but we reject these arguments for premium products like iPad Pro. Apple already has the “simple” iPad for those looking to get something on the lower-range, and even iPad Air for those looking for ultimate power with little compromise. iPad Pro should include the best tech in the market, and a potential price hike would be relatively easy to justify and convince prospective buyers to accept.

One more thing that’s expected to push the new iPad Pro away from unhealthy internal competition like the 2020 iPad Air, for example, will be the new A14X Bionic, a “beefy” special edition of the mobile chip that powers the iPhone 12 line. Some also mention the possibility of seeing support for 5G, which is quite likely, although still not very important from a practical perspective.

As for the “when,” Apple was supposed to launch this product by December 2020 initially, but everything was pushed further - and so did the release of the new iPad Pro. Naturally, we should see this product land some time within the first quarter of 2021.

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