Apple Working on Even Larger iPad Pro With OLED Display
Apple still appears to be working on an even larger iPad Pro model with an OLED display, according to recent reports.
Last summer, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman suggested that Apple was working on even bigger iPad models that could further "blur the lines" between tablet and laptop.
I'm told that Apple has engineers and designers exploring larger iPads that could hit stores a couple of years down the road at the earliest. They're unlikely for next year—with Apple's attention on a redesigned iPad Pro in the current sizes for 2022—and it's possible they never come at all. But a big iPad would be the perfect device for many people, including me, and would continue to blur the lines between tablet and laptop.
The biggest iPads that have been available in recent years have been the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro. This means that currently, the largest iPads are still smaller than the smallest MacBooks, the MacBook Air and entry-level MacBook Pro, which feature 13.3-inch displays. Since the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is already in a similar range to the 13.3-inch MacBooks, it is not inconceivable that Apple could be testing iPad display sizes around 16-inches, which is the size of Apple's largest MacBook Pro.
Now, at least two Apple suppliers are preparing to supply Apple with OLED displays in larger sizes to facilitate future iPad models. Chinese Apple supplier BOE recently converted one of its factories to be able to produce OLED displays up to 15-inches in size, with specifications suitable for iPads.
Similarly, LG is preparing to supply Apple with large OLED displays for future iPad models. LG has been rumored to be testing OLED displays specifically for the iPad Pro for some time, aiming for improved brightness, longevity, and durability compared to current iPad display panels.
Larger iPad display sizes may bring the iPad closer the Mac than ever before, but there would likely also need to be software improvements to properly take advantage of the larger display. Apple last updated the iPad Pro in April 2021, but some users have complained that iPadOS does not take full advantage of the hardware the iPad Pro has to offer, making it more challenging to replace a Mac than it could be.
Gurman opined that Apple will ultimately need to allow Mac apps and a Mac-like multitasking experience with more flexible arrangements of app windows on the iPad Pro. By the time even larger iPads come to market, it is likely that further iterations of iPadOS may improve the experience to take better advantage of the iPad's hardware.
Larger iPad Pros are said to be unlikely to launch in 2022, and are instead likely to launch sometime between 2023 and 2024. This year, Gurman believes that a new iPad Pro model will offer a glass back to facilitate wireless charging for the first time. For more on what's next for the iPad Pro, see our detailed roundup.