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Supply chain backs rumors Apple will make several OLED iPads

Most previous rumors have centered on Apple making a 12.9-inch iPad Pro with an OLED display, but new evidence suggests that will just be the first of many.

Eventually, Apple is going to put OLED displays in all iPads, because it provides brighter screens that last longer. The transition is not straightforward, though, with an OLED iPad Air reportedly being abandoned for 2022.

That was due to supply issues and technology problems, but it's also been believed that Apple won't want to hurt sales of the iPad Pro by introducing OLED to the iPad Air.

However, according to The Elec, Samsung Display and Ulvac are negotiating with each other over key technology processes needed by Samsung to make the displays. Significantly, this is specifically regarding the manufacture of Apple's second-generation OLED iPads.

Samsung Display and Ulvac have reportedly been collaborating on the development of what's described as a Gen 8.5 (2200x2500 mm) substrate deposition machine. It would mean Samsung Display being able to create larger panels than at present.

That's both more economical, and would allow Samsung to create tablet and PC-sized OLED panels as well as smartphone ones. The Elec says that if Samsung concludes its negotiations in the next month as expected, it is likely to be able to mass-produce Gen 8.5 OLED panels by late 2024.

The Elec has a strong track record for reporting supply chain information. However, it has a far poorer one for the conclusions it extrapolates concerning Apple's product plans.