A new DigiTimes report claims Apple could adopt a “hybrid” OLED technology in iPads as soon as 2024, allowing for thinner iPads, while also lowering production costs.
The hybrid OLED technology combines rigid OLED glass substrates with flexible OLED thin-film encapsulation, providing a way to make OLED panels thinner than rigid OLED panels. The process is also said to incur lower production costs than flexible OLED panels, as it doesn’t require a backlighting layer.
A report earlier this year said Apple’s much-rumored plans to transition its future iPad models to OLED technology could involve using “hybrid” OLED technology that combines both rigid and flexible OLED panel materials.
The report said Apple is reluctant to rely solely on the flexible OLED technology used in its iPhones, as the panels can “crumple,” with the effect being more noticeable on larger, iPad-sized display panels.
Apple has reportedly brought another manufacturing partner into its supply chain that will likely be involved in upcoming revamps of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and MacBook Pro.
Taiwan Surface Mounting Technology (Taiwan SMT) will undertake SMT process for mini LED backlighting of 12.9-inch iPad Pro and MacBook Pro, becoming an Apple supply chain maker for the first time, according to industry sources.
Apple has reportedly contributed financially to Taiwan SMT’s efforts to expand its production capacity. Some equipment will be dedicated to the SMT process for mini-LED backlighting, which is more difficult to manufacture than standard LED backlighting since the SMT process involves the use of more mini-LED chips.
Currently, the only Apple devices that use mini-LED are the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.