Apple might release an iPad with an OLED display provided by Samsung in 2024, according to a report from The Elec. Samsung is developing the necessary equipment to create the OLED panels that Apple wants for its iPads, but Apple will need to make a big enough order to make the project financially viable.
The Elec says that Apple and Samsung were working together to create a 10.86-inch OLED panel in 2021, but work on the display was halted in the third quarter. Apple asked for panels with a “two stack tandem structure,” but the project was too expensive for Samsung and Samsung was not able to manufacture enough of the panels at the right price.
For the second collaboration, if Apple places a “large enough order,” Samsung will be able to finalize its spending plans during the second quarter of 2022, ordering the necessary equipment during the third quarter. The equipment is expected to be delivered in 2023 for Samsung to manufacture displays destined for a 2024 OLED iPad.
The report suggests that Samsung is working to expand its Gen 8.5 IT OLED panels to offer the technology that Apple wants at the price Apple wants, but it needs new machinery to do so as well as Apple’s approval. Samsung’s current Gen 5.5 and Gen 6 substrates make the panels too expensive because there are not enough units cut out per substrate.
The South Korean display panel maker’s development of a vertical deposition machine, in collaboration with Japan’s Ulvac, for use in Gen 8.5 IT OLED panel that started last year was ongoing as of January 2022, sources told TheElec.
The equipment, along with fine metal masks (FMM) used to deposit organic materials precisely on the substrate, is a key technology needed to commercialize Gen 8.5 IT OLED panels.
The launch of a 2024 OLED iPad may depend on whether Apple decides to order a substantial number of OLED display panels from Samsung, but Apple could also opt to go with panels from another display provider.
Recent rumors have suggested that Apple is working with BOE on larger-sized OLED panels destined for Macs and iPads, with BOE’s recently converted factory able to manufacture OLED displays that are up to 15 inches in size.
At the current time, Apple uses OLED displays for the iPhone and the Apple Watch, but Macs and iPads are limited to LCD and mini-LED. There have been continuous rumors about Apple’s interest in OLED panels for devices like Macs and iPads, but the technology may still be a few years away due to the high cost of OLED display panels.