The tablet market has seen consistently positive figures, mostly in thanks to Apple and the iPad Pro’s rapid development pace. The company’s prosumer tablet seems to undergo big changes every iteration, even when those changes aren’t exactly visible to the naked eye. Case in point will be the iPad Pros coming next year which have already been rumored to be moving to mini-LED displays. That might be a short-lived change, however, as there are now reports that Apple will again switch display technologies before 2021 is over.
Despite the name, mini-LED screens are still LCD screens except they are backlit by LEDs. This gives more control over brightness and contrast by selectively dimming or brightening only certain sections of the display. Current LCD iPad Pros, in contrast, use an edge backlighting method where it’s either on or off completely.
Apple has been consistently rumored to be switching its iPad Pro line to mini-LEDs next year. Korean site The Elec now reports that this change will only be true for models launching in the first half of the year. In the second half of 2021, it says Apple will switch to actual OLED panels manufactured by none other than Samsung and LG, of course.
These OLED panels will not be the regular kind you already find on phones like Samsung’s. It will instead make use of what the report calls RGB tandem structure that will allow manufacturers to stack two or three light-emitting layers inside the panel. This is to reduce the risk of burn-in from blue OLEDs since tablets are often used for longer periods than smartphones.
Even the report admits that the 2021 timeline isn’t set in stone. The switch to OLED could still be delayed depending on how well the mini-LED adoption goes. it might also be the case that Apple will use OLED displays for its larger 12.9-inch iPad Pro, leaving other iPad Pros on mini-LED LCDs.