Potential M4 iPad Pro tipped to feature 'by far the best OLED tablet panels on the market' as May 7 launch nears

iPad Pro 12.9-inch in iMore freelancer's office
(Image credit: Future/Lloyd Coombes)

It's no secret at this point that Apple is very, nay extremely likely to launch a raft of new iPads during its May 7 event. It hasn't said as much, but Apple has hinted that a new tablet is on the way while accessories like the Apple Pencil 3 and a refreshed Apple Magic Keyboard seem dead certainties at this point, too. But at the top of the lineup will be a new OLED iPad Pro, and the rumors continue to swirl just a week out from the big unveiling.

There have been new OLED iPad Pro reports seemingly every other day for months now, and while you might be forgiven that a hard announcement date might put some of them to bed, that hasn't been the case. We've already had the revelation that the new iPad Pro could sport an M4 chip, and now a new report suggests that Apple's best iPad isn't just getting any old OLED display — it's getting the best that money can buy.

Given the fact that Apple's iPad Pro is expected to be an expensive beast of a tablet, that shouldn't be all that surprising. But it's always good to get it confirmed by the people in the know. In this case, those people are the display supply chain experts at DSCC, part of the Counterpoint Research company.

The best around

In a report posted to its website, DSCC says that we should expect something special when that OLED display arrives.

"The OLED iPad panels are expected to be by far the best OLED tablet panels on the market with LTPO, 120Hz refresh, a tandem stack and glass thinning resulting in ultra-thin and light displays with high brightness, extended battery life and long lifetime," the report explains. It also expects that Apple's position as the dominant supplier of tablets will see significant growth in the OLED tablet market through 2024.

The report is notable because it outlines exactly what we can expect the switch to OLED displays to bring to the table. Improved colors and contrast are one thing, but DSCC's Ross Young suggests that we can expect the move to also bring with it improvements to brightness and battery management, something that should allow the latest iPad Pros to go longer between charges. That's a very real benefit that all iPad Pro owners will enjoy, whether or not they use their tablet in such a way to benefit from any of the other OLED features. A reduced power usage could also be important if the OLED iPad Pro really does use the as-yet-unannounced M4 chip as well, especially if it requires more power for itself in order to make all those rumored AI features work.

The new OLED iPad Pro is expected to come in 11- and 12.9-inch size configurations alongside new iPad Air 6 tablets with the same options. The addition of a new, larger iPad Air could take some pressure off buyers who would prefer a larger tablet but don't want to buy an iPad Pro. It also means that the iPad Air and iPad Pro lineups will more closely mimic that of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro by offering cheaper and more capable options in two different sizes.

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.