Kuo: iPad Air to Adopt OLED in 2022, Mini-LED to Remain Exclusive to iPad Pro Models

Apple will transition the iPad Air to OLED displays in the second half of next year, while mini-LED display technology will remain exclusive to upcoming higher-end iPad Pro models, according to a new report from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

OLED iPad Pro Feature
Apple is expected to be just weeks away from launching a mini-LED ‌iPad Pro‌, the first Apple device to feature the newer technology. In Kuo's latest investor note, seen by MacRumors, the analyst underlines his belief that even when the ‌iPad Air‌ transitions to an OLED display in 2022, mini-LED will remain in its tablet lineup as a display technology exclusive to ‌iPad Pro‌ models.

The market is worried that if the iPad starts to use OLED in 2022, Apple will abandon the mini LED. However, according to our latest industry survey, if the iPad adopts an OLED display in 2022, it will be the mid-/low-end iPad Air, while the high-end iPad Pro will still use a mini LED display. The adoption of OLED in iPad does not affect the positive trend of mini LED. Since the OLED used in iPad is a rigid type and has a significantly lower PPI than iPhone, it is less challenging to produce, and the cost is close to the LCD currently used in iPad Air.

Kuo envisions a future iPad lineup in which OLED and mini-LED further differentiate Apple's mid-to-low end ‌iPad Air‌ models from its ‌iPad Pro‌ devices. Apple currently uses OLED displays in the Apple Watch and the iPhone, while Macs and ‌iPad‌ still retain the older LCD technology. OLED displays offer higher brightness, deeper blacks, and wider viewing angles. However, they often cost significantly more to produce than LCDs.

Earlier this month, DigiTimes reported that a 10.9-inch ‌iPad‌, presumably the ‌iPad Air‌, will be updated with an OLED display in early 2022. In contrast to Kuo's note, ‌DigiTimes‌ stated that Apple would also adopt OLED technology for the 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌. ‌DigiTimes‌ has also claimed that Apple might release 16-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro with OLED later on next year.

Apple is already working on several products with mini-LED displays, including redesigned MacBook Pros. Kuo believes that Apple's use of mini-LED will accelerate in the coming years as production costs decrease, with Apple's mid-to-high-end devices consistently adopting the technology first.

Related Roundup: iPad Air
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Top Rated Comments

xxray Avatar
43 months ago
I’d rather have OLED than mini-LED though. You get true infinite contrast, and burn in has never been a thing with Apple’s OLED.

Mini-LED is just a glorified LCD panel with slightly better contrast. It still doesn’t compare to OLED pure blacks. It makes no sense that mini-LED would be the premium product while OLED is the mid- to low-tier product.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iSayuSay Avatar
43 months ago

makes sense. Pro devices get mini-LED that has no burn in, but still has most of the advantages of OLED
I don't know.. miniLED is basically an LCD with controlled backlit. It still has some sort of backlight bleeding, or halo effect in the edges between dark and light images? TCL uses miniLED for their latest TVs, because it's cheap for its ability to mimicking OLED contrast (to some degree).

OLED however is pixel perfect. If anything OLED is still the king of high-end display both for TV and mobile market. I mean why Pro model iPhones (before 12 Series) go with OLED if it's not a premium offering? It's been years since iPhone uses OLED and I don't see any meaningful burn-in problems.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
locoboi187 Avatar
43 months ago

IF that was the case Samsung would use it in their TVs, but they don't because for larger panels its not as good.
Most inaccurate thing I read to start my day.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iSayuSay Avatar
43 months ago

IF that was the case Samsung would use it in their TVs, but they don't because for larger panels its not as good.
But then again in the premium TV market, LG OLED consistently beats Samsung QLED years after years?

LG also has their own lineup for QLED which is called NanoCell. It is okay, bigger and cheaper, a bang for your bucks. But obviously a second grade product compared to their own OLEDs.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
xxray Avatar
43 months ago

IF that was the case Samsung would use it in their TVs, but they don't because for larger panels its not as good.
1. “If that were true” - ?? It is true. It is literal fact. OLED has infinite contrast, mini-LED does not. iPhone X is going on 4 years old and all subsequent models of iPhone X/Pro have been OLED, all Apple Watch models have been OLED, and there have been no reports of widespread burn-in.

2. LG’s OLED TVs are consistently considered the best possible picture you can get on a TV by professionals who test displays objectively for a living.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
T'hain Esh Kelch Avatar
43 months ago

IF that was the case Samsung would use it in their TVs, but they don't because for larger panels its not as good.
They actually did for a couple of years, but their technology wasn't living up to LGs and they had production issues, so they instead shifted back to LEDs. Of course, even Samsung knows that OLED is the best, so they started marketing their LEDs as 'QLED' to trick uninformed consumers like you into buying their second rate displays.

If you go to any TV rating site, you'll see OLED displays easily winning over QLED displays, over and over again.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)