(Pocket-lint) - Recently, rumours seemed to indicate that Apple was scrapping their plans to bring OLED display technology over to the iPad line in favour of mini-LED - found exclusively on the latest 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
Despite reports pointing to Apple expanding mini-LED to the 11-inch iPad Pro and perhaps even an upgraded iPad Air throughout 2022, display experts and insiders are now pinpointing 2023 to 2024 as the year Apple will ultimately bring OLED to the iPad - most likely starting with the 12.9-inch model.
The key here is Apple’s insistence on only implementing an OLED display with LTPO technology, which for the uninitiated, is a fancy way of saying it offers variable refresh rates without the need for extra internal hardware normally required for those types of displays.
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Apple has already begun utilising LTPO OLEDs on their latest iPhone 13 Pro lineup, which is one of the primary reasons it delivers such astonishing battery life. The gist of it is that due to the inherent variable nature of the LTPO display, whenever you’re reading text or looking at a still image, the device lowers the refresh rate to a near halt - around 10Hz. However, when you begin to rapidly scroll through text, it can boost upwards to 120Hz.
Not only does this allow for a far smoother and faster looking experience, it tremendously helps to extend battery life. Say you’re streaming a film through HBO Max on an iPhone 13. Since most films are shot at 24 FPS, the iPhone will automatically match the frame rate and refresh the screen only 24 times per second - i.e. 24Hz. On a non-LTPO display, you’re stuck with either a constant 60Hz, 90Hz, or 120Hz, depending on the technology.
On paper, it only seems logical for Apple to ultimately move towards expanding OLED to the entire iOS and iPadOS lineup (at least on their luxury tiers) considering OLED’s successor - micro-LED - is still many years away.