Apple is reportedly looking into hybrid OLED displays as a way to make the iPad even thinner. The company seems to think that hybrid OLED is a better alternative to flexible OLED because it costs less to make and doesn’t look like it’s been crumpled. Apple has also added Taiwan SMT to its supply chain. It is helping Taiwan SMT increase production and use SMT for mini-LED backlighting.
A new OLED display technology could make future iPads from Apple much thinner. This technology, called hybrid OLED, is said to make the panels thinner than the rigid ones that are on the market right now.
In August, a Korean magazine called The Elec was the first to write about hybrid OLED. The article said at the time that Apple may choose to use hybrid OLEDs instead of flexible displays. These are OLEDs that have both rigid and flexible panel substrates. Apple reportedly doesn’t like how flexible displays look crumpled, which is especially clear on bigger screens. The newspaper said (machine translated from Korean),
When it became known that Apple plans to apply hybrid OLED to the first OLED iPad, the industry has assumed that the cause was cost reduction.
However, it is understood that there is a reason why Apple preferred hybrid OLED other than this cost reduction. An official from the parts industry said, “Apple hated the fact that a part of the product screen could look wrinkled to the user’s eyes when using a flexible OLED.” He said, “iPhone OLED has a 5-7 inch screen, so these characteristics are not well revealed, but it is relatively noticeable in large-screen (10-20 inch) IT products. he explained.”
Hybrid OLED combines rigid OLED glass substrates with thin-film encapsulation. This is supposed to make the panels thinner and lower the cost of making them. Since this kind of OLED technology is still being worked on, we might not see it in iPads or other devices until at least 2024.
Now, DigiTimes says that Apple has brought on another supplier who will also help with the upcoming updates to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and MacBook Pro. DigiTimes says that,
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.”
The report says that Apple has helped Taiwan SMT in other ways besides providing equipment for the SMT process for mini-LED backlighting. For example, Apple has given Taiwan SMT some money to help boost production.
Apple is likely to keep using mini-LED technology until hybrid OLED comes out, which is not expected to happen before 2024. The MacBook Pro 14, the MacBook Pro 16, and the iPad Pro 12.9 are all Apple products that use mini-LED displays. Late this year, these devices are expected to be updated with M2 SoCs.
Amazon is where you can buy the 2021 Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch Wi-Fi.
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Jessa Martin is the author of Nogmagazine, A professional in writing by day, and novelist by night, she received her bachelor of arts in film from Howard University and her master of arts in media studies from the New School. A Brooklyn native, she is a lover of naps, cookie dough, and beaches, currently residing in the borough she loves, most likely multitasking.