Rumored 2022 OLED iPad Air canceled, claims report

iPad Air 4 backside
iPad Air 4 backside (Image credit: Lory Gil / iMore)

What you need to know

  • An OLED iPad planned for 2022 has reportedly been canceled.
  • The Elec reports that Apple has scrapped plans to develop a 10.86 OLED iPad with a display supplied by Samsung.
  • The earliest OLED iPad will now reportedly debut in 2023.

A new report claims that an OLED iPad, possibly a new iPad Air, slated for 2022 has been canceled by Apple.

According to The Elec:

Apple and Samsung Display have canceled their joint project to develop a 10.86-inch OLED iPad, TheElec has learned.The tablet was originally slated to launch in 2022 and would have been Cupertino's first iPad to sport an OLED panel.

According to the report, it seems an issue with what type of OLED panel to use, or profitability issues, or both, were the reason for the device's axing. Apple apparently wanted a two stack OLED structure, which doubles the brightness and extends panel life four-fold. This was favored because of the extended life and obvious display benefits. However, reported supply partner Samsung wanted to stick with a single stack option because of profitability concerns:

Profitability is an issue for Samsung Display. Unless the company can be certain that the 10.86-inch OLED iPad will be sold for a long time, preparing for the back-end module process for the products can be costly for the South Korean company.

Apple was also reportedly planning to use LTPS, rather than LTPO display technology, meaning another change for Samsung on its production lines at great expense. Apple was reported to be planning a 2022 OLED iPad earlier this year by Ming-Chi Kuo.

Whatever the problems ultimately boiled down to, the report is clear that a 2022 10.86-inch OLED iPad is now no longer on the cards for a release. The report explicitly states "iPads with OLED panels now to launch in 2023 at the earliest." The Elec reports that in either 2023 or 2024 Apple will release two OLED iPads, one of which is likely to be a 12.9-inch iPad Pro with the two stack structure and LTPO display.

Speaking to iMore, Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) analyst Ross Young said that their inside information from a few weeks ago had thrown up similar news. According to Young, the main reason for the scrapping of the tablet is Apple preferring to wait for LG Display to catch up so it had multiple sources for OLED displays. Young told us they expect production on an OLED iPad will begin in 2023, but won't be launched until 2024, as published in DSCC's Future of OLED Manufacturing report. Young and DSCC expect two OLED iPads in 2024 in 11-inch and 12.9-inch sizes, and possibly a mini-LED 11-inch iPad Pro in the meantime.

Apple added mini-LED display tech to its iPad Pro earlier this year, making it one of the best iPads available alongside the iPad Air and the new iPad mini 6, announced alongside iPhone 13.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9