Apple’s next line of iPad Pro tablets, expected next year, could be the most expensive yet, thanks to the addition of a rumored screen upgrade.
Following the iPad Pro 12.9 (2022) and the smaller, but otherwise nearly identical iPad Pro 11 (2022), Apple is expected to release two more new iPad Pro models next year. When they launch, we’ll likely see Apple’s top iPad tablets get a few upgrades in terms of their processor and feature set.
While hardware improvements are always welcome, reports suggest we might be a little disappointed with one update. It’s rumored that next year’s iPad’s OLED screens will be quite a bit more expensive than the screens on current models – and that means 2024’s iPads will likely cost more too (via The Elec (opens in new tab)).
According to reports from South Korea, where Apple’s display partners Samsung Display and LG Display are based, Apple is looking to use a two-layer design for its next-gen OLEDs, with two luminous layers instead of one. Two-stack screens are brighter and last longer than single-stack screens, but they also cost a lot more.
Currently, Apple’s iPad Pro displays are estimated to cost $100-$150 to manufacture (around £80-£125 / AU$150-AU$225), but the new two-stack displays are said to cost around $270 for the 11-inch model and $350 for the 12.9-inch (about £225, £300 / AU$400, AU$520).
If those rumors are true, Apple will almost certainly try to pass on some, if not all, of the extra costs to consumers. So if you’re planning to upgrade your tablet next year, you might want to start thinking about whether you really need the very latest and greatest iPad, or maybe settle for a slightly older and cheaper, but still solid option.
Analysis: money for something
While we have to take all the rumors with a grain of salt, if the reports are true, the new iPad’s screens could be a worthwhile upgrade if you choose to venture out.
Most OLED tablets aren’t bright enough to offer anything serious in the HDR department. Don’t get us wrong: the screens look great, but they don’t deliver the full OLED effect; nothing like what you’d get from one of the best OLED TVs.
However, if Apple adopts this tandem structure, the screens should be a lot brighter than other OLED options on the market.
In addition, the structure is said to give the screen four times longer life. So if you’re someone who likes to buy a new iPad pro and then hold on to it for a few years, the 2024 models should be better at performing in that regard.
We’ll have to wait until 2024 to find out exactly what Apple’s next iPad Pro models have in store for us, but if prices do go up, at least it looks like we’re getting more bang for the buck.