iPad Pro 2021 rumor points to a Mini LED screen, saving OLED upgrade for 2022

iPad Pro 2020
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple's iPad Pro 2021 is rumored to sport a Mini LED display in 2021, but that may in fact be a temporary upgrade before finally switching to OLED for the iPad Pro 2022.

We first heard that Apple will transition iPads to Mini LED screens in late 2019, and noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently predicted we’ll see them as early as 2021. But the new rumor suggests Apple will instead tap Samsung and LG to produce hybrid OLED panels for iPads beginning in 2022, according to SamMobile.

These hybrid OLED panels will allegedly be thinner than usual OLED screens, which Samsung is reportedly calling ‘Ultra Thin’ (UT) panels, while LG is calling them ATO (Advanced Thin OLED). Samsung is allegedly already gearing up to start producing these for Apple, a source told SamMobile.

Mini LED... and then OLED?

It’s not too surprising for Apple to switch to OLED displays on its iPads, since it’s already using Samsung OLED screens across the iPhone 12 line – the first iPhones to shift away from LCD.

But it would be interesting for Apple to switch from Mini LEDs so quickly. Apple reportedly invested in a new Taiwan facility to manufacture Mini LED displays in mid-2020, and we’ve yet to see a product feature the new screens.

Instead, Apple might only use OLED screens in its higher-end iPads and use Mini LED in its cheaper tablets – or Micro LED, as SamMobile claims, which is a different kind of lighting tech, casting further uncertainty on which will end up in the iPad models.

Via PhoneArena

David Lumb

David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.