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Look for mini-LED iPad Pros in the first half of 2021, OLED tablets in the second half

Apple is preparing to adopt OLED screens for its iPad Pro tablets launching in the last half of 2021, according to TheElec. The first iPad Pro update in the first half of next year will see the tablets using direct backlight LCD panels, the article adds.

This will make the panels thicker compared to the currently used edge method where the backlight is attached at the sides of the LCD panels and a light guide plate is used to spread the light to the whole screen. 

Samsung Display and LG Display, which currently supplies OLED panels for iPhones, are developing the new OLED panel for the iPad Pros due to launch in the second half of 2021, according to TheElec. The article does offer a caveat: Apple’s plans to use OLED screen for its premium tablet line may be delayed depending on the scale of adoption miniLED liquid crystal display (LCD).

The Sellers Research Group (that’s me) thinks that TheElec may be right about OLED displays coming to the iPad Pro in the latter half of 2021. However, I think we’ll see — as predicted in May by noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo — supersized Apple tablets in the first half of 2021 with mini-LED displays that will use 10,000 mini-LEDs and will be comparable to OLED screens. Mini-LED displays will make for thinner and lighter products. Mini-LEDs sport a local dimming function with a contrast effect similar to that of OLED displays. 

However, on some product lines, costs for mini-LED backlit displays may even be lower than their OLED counterparts, according to LEDinside. Mini-LED products are as thin as those using OLED technology so they consume less power than traditional LED screens, and they cost 70-80% less to produce than OLED displays, although their performance is similar.

If the iPad Pros with mini-LED displays show enough potential, I think Apple might ditch the OLED plans.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.