11.1-inch OLED iPad shipments lag behind larger version, expected to launch in April

Anyone ready for the new iPads? New iPad Air and iPad Pro hardware are expected to be unveiled any day now. This includes a more affordable 12.9-inch display, and the iPad Air is expected to add a larger size option. We also expect to see the first iPads with OLED screen technology, delivering deeper black levels like the iPhone and Apple Watch.

A new DSCC report may shed light on when to expect the new iPads to arrive. The analytics firm also gives us an idea of ​​what to expect from the iPad Pro line at launch.

Soon, but not yet

Throughout 2023, Apple did not introduce any new hardware for the iPad. This is a first for the tablet line since the original iPad debuted in 2010. However, it looks like the 2024 iPad hardware will be worth the wait. Apple has used mini-LED display technology in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro for two generations, but the 11-inch iPad Pro has stuck with the LCD display.

OLED technology is definitely not new to Apple. The Apple Watch has used an OLED display since its launch in 2015, and the iPhone X introduced OLED to its phone lineup in 2017. OLED boasts the deepest black levels of any current display technology. Apple came closer to OLED's contrast ratio with the Mini-LED iPad Pro two generations ago, but the Mini-LED is not without a glow effect that occurs when the pixels illuminate the display.

Samsung & LG

According to DSCC, Apple has been in constant discussions about OLED display suppliers for the 2024 iPad Pro line. The firm describes the new iPad Pro hardware as “the first OLED panels for tablets with LTPO, tandem stacks and thin glass.” which means Apple will sell as many iPad Pros as it can produce.

To achieve this, Apple commissioned Samsung Display and LG Display to produce the new panels. DSCC explains how the supplier situation changed during production:

  • LG was initially tasked with producing all 12.9-inch panels, sharing production of the 11.1-inch panels with Samsung.
  • At the time, Samsung was reportedly the only supplier of 11.1-inch panels due to demand based on the high cost of new ones. iPad Pro hardware
  • DSCC now reports that LG is once again joining Samsung in producing 11.1-inch panels.

iPad Expectations

What does this mean for customers? While prices are expected to jump for both new iPads, it looks like supply of the new 11.1-inch iPad Pro will be limited compared to the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro. However, things may even out at some point as LG contributes to the production of 11.1-inch panels in April.

Speaking of April, DSCC believes Apple may announce a new iPad lineup in March, but we shouldn't expect shipments until next month. Fortunately, we are still approaching the end of March. And while the entire iPad Pro line is expected to cost more than ever, the iPad Air line will offer some relief with the first 12.9-inch version—just without the OLED contrast ratios.

Don't worry about the newest one iPad hardware? The 9th generation iPad with a Home button and larger bezel is currently selling for $250. If you want something better, the 10th generation iPad is also discounted by up to $350 and may be worth it.

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