Apple’s upcoming OLED iPad Pro models, expected to debut in 2024, are likely to be much more expensive than existing OLED devices of a similar size, thanks to the costly new OLED production process used.
Apple is widely expected to be readying a 2024 launch for new 11.1-inch and 13-inch iPad Pro models featuring OLED instead of LCD displays, and panel production will account for the largest proportion of material costs, says Korean-language website The Elec.
Apple has reportedly ordered OLED panels from Samsung and LG Display, for use in its next-generation iPad Pro models. Rival Chinese display maker BOE lost out, or as Business Korea so aptly put it, “BOE was excluded.” The specifications for the panels will require the combined use of production processes that have not been used before for OLED panels of the needed size.
Apple is expected to use a two-stack tandem structure, which has two emission layers, thus doubling brightness and quadrupling OLED display lifespan. Another process is the use of low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) thin film transistors (TFT), for a more power-efficient backplane (which is responsible for turning individual pixels on and off), and a hybrid OLED structure combines rigid OLED glass substrates with flexible OLED thin-film encapsulation, which results in an overall thinner panel.
The Elec says that while the supply price of OLED panels for existing 10-inch devices is around $100 to $150, the price for the 11.1-inch and 13-inch panels Apple requires runs closer to $270 and $350, respectively.
Some of these costs will likely be passed on to the end consumer, resulting in significantly higher retail prices.